Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembering the Jelly

Thought I'd drop in!

I haven't written in so long, and so I've been experiencing that phenomenon where the longer you don't write, the harder it is to write. Actually, I don't think that is much of a phenomenon. That's more like...a boring occurence. In any case, I really want to get back into the habit of writing again.

Jodi and I were texting back and forth the other day...well I wrote her this:

"Hey Jojo! It's Shan. I can't do our blog anymore. I'm so sorry. I thought it was because of my tests, but now they are done, and I just have no urge to write in it. I keep hoping I'll get the urge, but it's not happening. It's not cool that you have to keep explaining my absence. Do you want to take it over, and just have me as an occasional guest blogger?"

Yeah, I actually was gonna quit.

This is one of the things Jo wrote back:

"You've NEVER been able to sustain writing though. Remember how you used to rip all of your journal pages? This is your blogging version of that."

She is absolutely, 100% correct. My sister has shelves full of journals that she has been maintaining since high school. Me? Nothing. I have ripped or burned any journal I have ever attempted (burning is more fun).

Jodi's journals are time capsules filled with fragments of her life. What I love about them is the nature of the memories. Anyone will mentally file away significant events and milestones. But these journals document the things that most wouldn't bother to remember, the threads of one's world that seem small, but accumulate in such a way to create the whole fabric of a life.

The other day, I stumbled upon my old "MySpace" account. My profile is set on private, and I can't remember the password, but I was able to see a dozen or so old "blog" entries I had written. Here is what one of them said (dated 10-09-2006):

"Okay, I had a dream that my kids turned into different jars of jelly. Samantha was butterscotch (butterscotch jelly? I don't think that even exists). Either Cassidi or Dylan was strawberry preserves. That's all I can remember."

This got me thinking. If I hadn't written this down, I would have NEVER in a million years, remembered that I had this dream? And this reminded me of a quote from my favorite book EVER:

"If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”
― George Orwell, 1984

Back to my dream. If I am the only one who has a memory of this dream, and I LOSE this memory, did this dream even happen? Even actual memories...If a man in a purple shirt almost hit my car with his bike 3 years ago, but the man has no recollection of the event, and I no longer remember it, does this incident even exist? Nobody can see it, hear it, touch it...It doesn't take up any mass in space....if the only place this incident ever existed is in the mind of the man and the mind of me, but it no longer exists in his mind or my mind, whose to say it even occurred?

This is probably just an annoying extension of the whole "If a tree falls in a forest..." question, but...I get stuck on these silly thoughts sometimes.

Basically, I want to try and keep writing. I'm afraid that if I don't, my memories will start to evaporate, and then it will be like they never happened at all.


  1. Okay, I already texted you with my comment to all of this, but I have to say again that this is the most insightful, thought-provoking post EVER, and I still have chills from reading it. I just finished reading it out-loud to Clint, and he says he agrees with your philosophical premise that things forgotten *might* no longer exist. He remembers almost nothing before the age of ten, and for him, it almost feels like a long-lost childhood. Even me and his mom joke around that she wasted good parenting on him, because all of it is forgotten.

    I am SO giddy with happiness that you decided to keep blogging. It was going to feel so strange and empty here without you (even if you are an occasionally flakey--EHEM--I mean commitmently-impaired--blogging partner). Cheers to MySpace for some well-timed intervention!

    "But these journals document the things that most wouldn't bother to remember, the threads of one's world that seem small, but accumulate in such a way to create the whole fabric of a life." Holy cow that is gorgeous. If I still wrote in physical journals, I'd have that one inscribed.

    1. This got me thinking too! If we don't remember memories, do they even exist? Short answer: Yes, they stop existing.
      To digress, I think this is the way people get over bad memories too. Forget them and pretend they never existed and one day, it stops existing.
      I'm glad you'll keep blogging too, Shannon! (sorry for butting in) :D

    2. Thanks Ify! And please, feel free to butt in anytime! I love it! :)

  2. Wow. Thanks Jodi. This is the best comment ever. This made my day.

  3. I'm glad you decided to hand in there, Shannon. I'd totally miss you and insights like this. I agree that writing things down helps them to be real in the future when you may not remember them. I think I read somewhere that something like 30% of our memories are factual, the rest is filler we created to put everything in context (that number may be wrong). For me, blogging is a way to keep track of things, my life, the way I felt, etc. So, I empathize with this. Hang in there and do you try to go away again. Not cool. :P

    1. Thank you Kristyn! I remember reading something similar to that too. I am glad you are consistent with yours. It's such a habit for me to check yours regularly that I don't know what I would do if YOU ever stopped. :-)


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