Original Thought · Uncategorized

Memories

Blink and it is gone. The fleeting moment of 7 seconds ago is chased by the hurtling moment 7 seconds ahead. We hold ABCDEFG at once and then A is gone to the past and H is rolling forward. The pace of time ticks on and without holding onto the now and filing some rendition of it away, we find our minutes, hours, days and years spent without value or purpose. Memories are the economy of experience without which life has no currency.

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Our memories can represent numerous meanings of the word currency.
According to Miriam Webster;
Currency
a : circulation as a medium of exchange
b : general use, acceptance, or prevalence <a story gaining currency>
c : the quality or state of being current : currentness <needed to check the accuracy and currency of the information>
d : something (as coins, treasury notes, and banknotes) that is in circulation as a medium of exchange
e : paper money in circulation
f : a common article for bartering <Furs were once used as currency.>
g : a medium of verbal or intellectual expression < … neither side possessed any currency but clichés … — Jan Struther>

My memories act as a repository and a filter for the life I have led and a shimmering lens to the highest and best tomorrow. They contain and create truth, marketing both to my ego and anyone else who will listen. They become the chapters and volumes of the Book of Bob and in modern parlance ‘they fabricate my brand’.

As the story develops and is retold, by me and those who have heard them they begin to seem plausible and possible. When I remember a meeting with a colleague and relate the experience to them on the next encounter, it infiltrates their story just as their recounting finds room in mine. We both remodel and adapt and accept the altered version as today’s truth.

The moment I recognize as now slips past so quickly that I would miss it if I didn’t shape it as part of a bigger picture. William James gave currentness years of thought as he raced ahead of his world. His brother Henry once said, after his passing; ” William is always around the next corner.” He mused ” Time itself, comes in drops”. or in fuller exposition; “All our sensible experiences, as we get them immediately, do . . . change by discrete pulses of perception, each of which keeps us saying ‘more, more, more,’ or ‘less, less, less,’ as the definite increments or diminutions make themselves felt. . . . [All our sensible experiences] come to us in drops. Time itself comes in drops. (PU 104)” His thesis seems to suggest that only the current memory can quench the thirst for understanding, but only for a discreet pulse ( a drop).

‘I don’t know if this really happened but I know it is true’ a paraphrase from Marcus Borg’s post-modern apologetics suggests that memories (stories) can be profoundly true without being factually true. It is in that ether that we construct our reality – a recipe of factual, literal, and imagined to concoct save our sanity and a delicious cake that we can offer to those who are proximate and intimate.

What we use as a token of exchange, either memories or money are merely and intrinsically a social agreement. I accept your story and assimilate it into a trust matrix that I use to decide whether to share some of my life and time with you. Or, I receive your script or a digital version as remittance for goods or services and complete the transaction because we have agreed that the $, €, £, ៛, ₽, that we trade has some value that is factual, literal and concocted. In either case, if the agreement fails, the transaction ends without satisfaction.

Sitting around a campfire, standing at a water cooler, or in a pulpit, applying for a job, courting a lover is an exercise in bidding, accepting, and rejecting. We barter for relationship, status, position, power, and love with the memories we share and the clarity we imagine and bring to our storytelling. If my memory tales align with yours, we begin a dance. You offer a version of an event and I add or adapt to it and offer some of it back. When I say ” I love you” and hear ” I love you, too”, my understanding is framed by how I have experienced love in the past and how I desire to feel it in the future. Your words are interpreted through my arbitrary moment in time position that is informed by my recall, recognition and reflection and my unspoken desire to be loved.
Back and forth the stories go and for some, an agreeable, intimate, long-lasting relationship develops.

My ego and delusions of grandeur are both a great asset and a devastating liability. I assume my memories and their articulation exist to be a medium of verbal or intellectual expression, cherished by all who hear them. I realize that the 1000ish words of this post offer my intellectual expression, somewhat convoluted by the act of writing and the fact of reading and the faculty of recalling. My fallibility can seem either charming or troublesome because your memories, your ego, and your delusions play into the understanding; factual and interpretive, of the exchange. I trust and expect that some of this will resonate and some will provocate and I am okay with both. I would be distressed if it fell flat.

Make Today Memorable,

B

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Curiousity Didn’t Kill the Cat

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over. ~ Richard Branson

When you stop being curious, you begin to dig your own grave.  For some the hole gets completed quickly and they mercifully pass. For others they drone into a life full of blah and stifling boredom.  Just behind your right ear (about 10 cm ) is the curiousity bone ( Latin – curiosulus). Every morning before you head into the world, take the index finger of your left hand and rub vertically on the the curiosulus for 30 seconds and wonder what unimagined event, idea, opportunity or challenge might arrive in your field of vision today. Take the next 5 minutes to ponder how that instance might change your disposition, position or opinion.

After activating curiousity, it needs a bit of care and feeding so you will need to to repeat this exercise at 11:21 and 19:37. Just before you go to bed take the middle finger of your right hand and massage the curiosulus horizontally. This embeds the new ideas and memories into your bank and creates fresh space for tomorrow’s adventures.

Make Today (and tomorrow) Remarkable, by being curious,

B

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What is Your Angel List?

Listening to Tim Ferris Show this morning; an interview with Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList (World’s largest online fundraising platform for startups). They talked about great investment opportunities and it prompted me to think about where I was investing. Where am I storing up my treasures, emotional, relational, time, intellect? Where am I investing myself?

I don’t like what I discovered. Ignorance is bliss. I am investing a lot of Bob in places/activities/ideas that don’t align with who I say I am and who I hope to be. There are a number of areas where I have skewed my spending but one in particular jumped to my attention. I spend time thinking about, worrying about, talking about politics. I have no real influence, no real expectation of change, and get no ‘enjoyment’ from partisanship. Why would I circle this toilet? Why would I read  commentary, listen to speeches, consider supporting a candidate, making a donation? After my investment analysis I am committing to voting on October 20 (I know who I will vote for) but I am not giving any more of my assets to this endeavor.

I am taking the time, energy, resources from this divestment and reinvesting in people and personal experiences with my beloved. We can realign values and spending and this is where I am starting.

Make Today Remarkable, by analyzing your investments,

B

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What is in your Memory Bank?

If memories are the economy of experience then dreams must be one of the currencies that your can draw.

The University of Manchester discovered that at least part of our dreams are constructed from memory fragments that bubble to the surface in celebration or seeking resolution. Not everything in our dreams fits neatly in a memory box, the shadows of worldview, fantasy, anxiety, indigestion and discontent rear up and contribute during REM and NREM sleep.
That is why dreams have a real and surreal quality. The puzzle pieces seem to fit but they come from different boxes and are different sizes.
I have discovered that the more I probe my memory in Faded Recollections, the strong memories contribute to my dreams. In October, I would have said, ” I don’t remember anything from my childhood” but as I started writing for NaNoMo the gate opened and dozens and then hundreds of images came flooding forward both when I was awake and as I slept. The ‘memories’ fed the writing, were inspired by writing, contributed to dreams and the dreams opened little slits to another memory.

I can feel my bank filling and I can draw from both dreams and memories to create a tapestry of unimagined possibilities.