I’ve always been fascinated in how the human mind works, and recently two completely unrelated conversations have once again proven there is more mystery than known about our brains.
If you’ve seen me in person, you’ve likely seen the large yellow submarine tattoo on my left leg. My artist created a beautiful Peter Max-ish design from multiple images representing my life. The yellow submarine is indeed from the Beatles hit, and is the center piece to the wraparound art. It’s origin is from a faint childhood memory.
I remember many times my dad playing guitar. Growing up in the early 70’s, much of the music I heard him strumming came from the Beatles, CCR, and such. I have no idea why, but I loved the song Yellow Submarine. In one early memory, I remember listening him play every Beatles’ song and waiting for my favorite. Of course, the Beatles’ songbook was in alphabetical order, so my wait only grew with each passing song. When dad took a break and left the room, I “tuned” his guitar so he could play my favorite song. He returned to all six strings horribly out of tune. Of course, I got in trouble, but not too much.
Recently, I shared this story with my dad who listened with great interest, but admitted he had no recollection of my memory. Until that moment, I never thought of the insignificance of that event from his perspective. I mean, surely he must have remembered my favorite childhood memory, right? Nope, nothing. I was surprised, but certainly understood. I’m sure I was a pain in the ass quite a bit as a child, so one event probably wouldn’t stand out amidst so many others.
A few months later, I posted a quote from Watership Down on Facebook. Ok, for the record, I have a confession. I knew the book was about a group of rabbits, but I’d never actually read the book. The quote was cool though, and totally represented my feelings at the moment. So I was shocked when my sister responded her favorite childhood memory was the summer I read her Watership Down. What??? Not only did I not remember reading the book, but I certainly had absolutely no recollection of reading it to her! And this was her favorite childhood memory?!? I felt totally gypped. I should remember this event – All of them, actually, since I’m quite certain it took multiple days to read that story aloud.
The mind works in such mysterious ways, and memories especially fascinate me. I remember scenes from my life, some good, others not so much. Yet, what is significant to me is completely gone for someone else, and vice versa.
Aside from simply sharing my fascination with the mind, I encourage everyone to share memories with others. Let them know what you remember and encourage them to do the same. You may be surprised what you learn and open doors to lost memories fading through time.