Monday, 16 May 2011

On the Dark Recesses of My Mind

Surprise! I'm not actually dead, despite my lack of posting.

In the last month or two I've been living life to the full. Inspiration on things to write about, however, has been thin on the ground.

The one noteworthy realisation I was struck with during my prolonged absence was that my brain is actually quite big. Bigger than I ever really give it credit for. Fear not; I am not boasting about my IQ or my ability to remember obscure Eastenders characters from ten years ago. Let me explain.

As you may or may not know, I lived in Italy a while ago. It was a special time that has given me a wealth of happy and not so happy memories to look back on and cherish. And, as it turns out, it gave me more memories than I realised. When I went to Italy at the beginning of March, I was taken aback by the number of forgotten memories that came flooding back. Sights, sounds and smells all triggered recollections that I didn't realise I had.

And that's what I'm impressed with; the huge, unfathomable depth somewhere in my head that holds memories I don't actually remember. God knows how many situations I've been in or conversations I've had are sitting there, somewhere, waiting to be woken up and set free by a trigger it's impossible to predict.

This in turn reminded me of studying Proust in my first year of university. He talks about eating a certain type of biscuit that his grandmother gave him when he was but a petit garçon. Eating the same type of biscuit years later evoked a wealth of feelings and memories of his childhood. They all came back, in glorious 3D technicolour, from a biscuit. For the first time, I think I understand where he's coming from.

I just think it's a shame there's not some cerebral filing system that I can dip into when I'm at a loose end. A talking computer system that I can turn on and say, "I'm bored. Show me something I've forgotten." I want to see all the things I don't remember, the things filed under 'Insignificant' and 'Not Worth Remembering' that my brain backed up nonetheless.

Good on you, Brain. I applaud your hard - and unappreciated - work. You grafter you. And your next mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find me some inspiration for my blog, because I miss that even more than the things I don't remember.