Monday, 6 September 2010

day 27: memory

the 27th night of ramadan is most likely (but not at all certain) to be the night of power. as i mentioned a few days back, muslims spend the last 10 nights in extra prayer, searching for that special night. so really, i shouldn't be here online. except that this month of reflective posts are an act of worship for me. they are a significant reminder to me of the Glory of God, though for my readers who don't believe what i believe, i hope they have been reminders of the everyday blessings we live with, acknowledging that some of us having more than others.

today's topic is an extension of my post on intellect, but focuses on that part of our brain which allows us to recall things. not only does this mean that we have the ability to store knowledge and experiences for future use, but it also means that we have a store of memories of our time here on the planet.

i've used a lot of memories in my posts, many of them i hadn't thought about for some time, others that i recall often. my memories are precious to me. the good ones of times spent with friends and family, of special occasions and events, of exciting times. and also the bad ones, which may be painful to bring up, but still make up the sum of who i am.

in fact, i often find the painful memories a source of strength. especially at times when i'm feeling low or struggling with something, i can look back at those difficult times and think "well, i survived that, so i can definitely survive this!" every bad memory has provided me with a learning experience, or has been a means to strengthen my own character and resilience.

it's so important to me that i recognise the people who are close to me, that i can bring back to my mind so many little things that i know about them. unfortunately i'm pretty bad at recalling people that i don't see often or have met in a group. i'm terrible with names and faces, and what makes it worse is that i stand out, because of my hijab and my skin colour. this means that people will remember me much more easily than i can remember them.

i've been told that i have a mind like a sieve, and it's true that there are so many details that seem to slip through and get lost. but thankfully, i remember the important things & the meaningful things.

memories are funny things. they pop up at the most unexpected moments - things that i had completely forgotten are triggered by a phrase or an event or an encounter. but until that trigger happens, it's as if that memory was never in my brain at all. that's where things like photographs, letters and even something like this blog are great at capturing and preserving memories. unfortunately i'm terrible at taking photographs, and am probably one of the least photographed people around. so i'm going to have to rely a lot more on my brain.

there may come a day when i lose my memories. it's not uncommon after all. there may come a time when i won't recognise my own children, or things that happened the day before. it's certainly a scary prospect, so for now i'm thankful for each and every memory.

causes to support in this area are pretty much the same as the ones i've put in my post on intellect. for those who have difficulties with short and long-term memory, and for any of their family and friends who struggle in dealing with this, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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