Monday, October 25, 2010

Vivid Detail

You find an old box of pictures in the attic and you start going through them.  Oh my goodness!  Where are those girls from 7th grade?  Look at those clowns fooling around in the raccoon hat!  Where did you get that hat from, in a catholic high school for girls in the city??  The pictures bring back so many memories.  Some aren't very good pictures, some are just embarrassing, or uneventful.  You decide to scan the ones you want, and toss the rest.

Memories.  We all have them.  Some are warm and fuzzy, sunshine and roses.  Some, we remember in 3D, with vivid color and detail, yet we wish we didn't.  When you think of the past year, which memories come to mind?

My grandmother died almost 1 year ago, and I've been thinking about her quite a bit in recent times.  I remember so many wonderful things, yet there are some memories that are both warm and fuzzy, and visually fuzzy.  There are some others that, in-spite of their vivid clarity, aren't the ones I want to keep close to my heart.

Growing up with my grandmother, I quickly figured something out:  when the house was quiet, everything was going well.  On the other hand, when we could hear her talking (well, yelling) while we were still in the backyard, we knew something was wrong.  Vocal expressions were used to rehearse the things that were wrong and we heard about them over, and over, and over...

I'm realizing that I keep my memories clear by rehearsing them over, and over and over... like I would when studying for an examination.  I have pictures in my photo album of myself as a very small child.  I have told the stories of those pictures so much that I'm not sure if I remember the actual event, or if I remember the story because I have heard myself say it so often.

Recently, I heard myself sharing something Isaiah did that I was really irritated about.  I could share it in vivid detail.  I could remember the conversation word for word.  Yet, the stuff that I'm enjoying, that I think is just amazing, I keep as an inside, perhaps private story.  Very few people get to hear these memories.  Maybe I don't hear them enough either.. 

I've noticed that my private, inside memories stop getting much mental attention after a while.  Then, they fade, becoming fuzzy, hazy.  The vivid detail gets reserved for the ones that survive the rehearsals.

I'm starting a new practice.  Well, it's not new, but I'm deciding to make it a part of my regular routine.  I'm going to stop at the end of my day, and bring to mind the memories I enjoyed and/or found significant that day.  I'm going to rehearse those memories, play them out in my mind in bold, living color, in 3D, in HD, with surround sound.  I'm going to make them big.  I'm also going to share them with others.  You may get to hear quite a few of them.  I want to stand at any point in my life and take out my box of photos and see clear vivid pictures of anything I want to see.

What about you?  Are you deliberately cultivating the memories you want to keep?  You can start today.

PS,  we'll talk more about the homework I gave last week on thursday.  I didn't forget!

1 comment:

  1. Faith,

    Motorola once did a study of the cell phones that were either exchanged or sent in to be repaired, and they found that more than 99% of the settings were still set to the factory defaults.

    As I read your post, I started wondering about the default auto-focus settings of our internal cameras. What causes them to focus so clearly in some instances, and not so in others. Is it frequency? Is it variance from the norm? Is it simply how present we are at the time?

    Then I played through some of my mental photo gallery from this year: A couple great shots of Iris crossing finish lines. Playing music with the bands. Having everyone together Myrtle beach. It seems for me, my focus is better, my images more vivid when circumstances are exceptional.

    Time to recalibrate my autofocus for everyday situations.


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