What is it about random memories that occasionally come into mind from left field, without any common sense or connection to present events or thoughts; memories that go back donkey's years and have no real context to what's happening in front of you?
For some bizarre and inexplicable reason, I have been thinking about a time when I was about 15 or 16 when a friend of the family, Peter Charlton took me and my dad fishing one winters day in an orange coloured Mini van (like a Mini estate with rear doors - picture from here).
I can even remember sitting on a river bank in the intense frost looking at steep muddy banks and drinking tomato soup from a flask to keep warm on that winter's day when the temperature never rose anywhere near above freezing point. No I didn't catch anything either.
I can sometimes recall distant memories, going back 50 years in rare cases, especially when I am meditating and some of those memory recall moments have appeared on previous blogs. In other cases, I am sure that I am prompted to think of such memories from a spiritual aspect, and that happens regularly, but how does that item of data get retrieved from the old grey matter having lain dormant and totally irrelevant for all that time and how and why does it come back?
Then there's the randomly recalled memory worthy of cringing - something said that was inappropriate or some act done that was embarrassing - been there, done that and no, you can't turn the clock back - you just hope that the other party never remember the event.
Of course there's the deliberately deleted memory, "I don't remember you telling me to do that dear," (rarely works by the way) and my most common memory lapse: "I distinctly remember you doing that and telling me this!" In other words, blaming someone else for my bad memory or trying to get out of trouble for something that was my fault, (also rarely works).
It is a fact that I often can't remember major issues yet can remember trivial rubbish that should have been stored and deleted as useless. Ah well - I can put it down to age I suppose.
An eighty year old couple I know were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctor's office, they explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory.
After checking the couple out, the doctor told them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down, making notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left. Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair and his wife asked, "Where are you going?"
He replied, "To the kitchen."
She asked, "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"
Then his wife asked him, "Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?"
"No, I can remember that."
"Well, I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you'll forget that," his wife said.
"I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."
She replied, "Well, I also would like whipped cream on top. I know you will forget that. You had better write it down."
With irritation in his voice, he said, "I don't need to write that down, I can remember that." He went into the kitchen.
After about 20 minutes, he returned from the kitchen and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs.
She stared at the plate for a moment and said, "You forgot my toast."