Interesting prompt, but also very in tune with my mood this morning. Just a while ago I was going back to blog posts of old and realized a lot of things. Things I had almost forgotten about.
The thing about memories is that you never quite know what is going to pop up or get triggered…
How a song can yank you back to a night of music and a sea of people, or how a smell can send your mind back to your huggable third grade teacher, or a post yanks you back to a certain feeling, and the sight of something from a long time ago can bring to surface some scars that haven’t really healed.
But you know what’s also weird? Some memories aren’t what they really are… Time and experience can distort them for worse or for better… Which, although sometimes annoying or unhelpful can actually be kind of a blessing.
I think back to a couple traumatic memories I have and I’m almost glad they’ve shifted, morphed into something more bearable.
But at times I wish the memories we have could be viewed again completely and fully… Like in Harry Potter, where they can pour liquid memories into a Pensieve and then fall into them and experience them in 3D, as nothing but a ghost or a shadow.
Just today I finished the book “Sirens on Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut, and in the fictitious Martian society, those in power have the power to wipe new members’ (abducted either willingly or unwillingly from Earth) memories, so that they would be more apt to comply with orders. And it is reading and seeing stuff like that in movies that makes me realize what a powerful thing the human memory is… Not only does it hold experiences and events, but it holds the tools we need every day to learn and move and function.
So it would suck if that were taken away., especially in the manner Vonnegut spells out.
What do you think? Is taking away certain memories a good thing? Or a bad thing? I know it can/used to be done for treatment in some patients… But is it right?