Other forms of memory

When we can’t remember something, but we know what it isn’t, this is a sign of a different kind of memory.

We learn something, and forget it, but remain touched. We can feel our way to an answer, independent of rational processes. The result of an experience may linger, and guide our reactions, even when we are not thinking about it. Things we’ve seen and forgotten are replayed in our dreams. We can have a dull sense of prognostication about the future, or the “sense” of a person, but this happens in the flash of an instant, before time for thought even begins. The course our life takes over the span of a year may be vastly different from the course we choose day to day. There are things we fear we’ll do – almost know we’ll do – and then we watch ourselves, in hindsight, cleverly bring them about. The “flavor” of our life can greatly outlast the emotional changes of a single day. Years can go by, and yet a smell or word can bring back instantly the sense of who we were back then.

Without working to create it, there is here a great reservoir of thought and memory that we fail to credit as “real”.