Wow, what a week. The events in Ferguson, Missouri over the past week have made me think a lot about memory—personal memory, collective memory, historical memory. Pondering the meaning of memory makes me also think about forgetting. What an odd thing that we move so sporadically between remembering and forgetting. This and this are worth reading on the topics of race, Ferguson, and how we remember—and forget—U.S. history…especially good reads for European American folks.
I have a terrible short term memory. I have a hard time remembering names of people I just met, or what I walked in the room to grab, or the directions someone just told me. Unfortunately my long term memory also suffers from black holes and gray areas. I spend a lot of time looking things up, re-viewing, asking questions. In a way, I suppose this can be helpful: I get to re-integrate information in new contexts every time I look something up to confirm a memory. Perhaps re-membering looks more like re-integrating for me.
Our brain is amazing… at creating memories that never existed. – Memory and Forgetting, RadioLab
Our memories are a bit faulty. – The Great Forgetting, Aeon Magazine
Despite faulty memory, if we take more time to think and deeply reflect in the present, we build empathy for others. And we all need more empathy. – No Time to Think, New York Times
Remembering a tremendous musician and, now we know, visual artist – The (almost) unknown art of Miles Davis, Dangerous Minds