Thursday, February 15, 2007

Persistent Memory

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.
-- Bret Harte

Memory is many times a perverse thing. We forget many things we want to remember, but with things we want to forget, we couldn't do it if our lives depended on it.

This is particularly true with music. I'll hear a song on the radio that I despise and, more often than not, it gets lodged in my mind in replay mode. No matter how much I try to put it out of my mind, I'll hear it over and over again in my mind for hours, and, many times, will even be humming it, too. The worse I hate the song, the more this is likely to happen.

We also tend to replay embarrassing moments, being insulted, disturbing events, and painful memories in our minds. Sometimes, the harder we try to banish such memories, the more persistent they are. We can distract ourselves for awhile, but the memories inevitably pop back up like weeds.

Usually, the best thing is simply to let such memories be and allow them to recede in their own time. Trying too hard to banish them from our minds usually means that process will only take longer.


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