Brain Food #767: Between history and memory
The art of recollection
Thoughts of the day
It is widely known that every time we recall or share a memory, we partly recreate it. History itself is a collection of personal observations that survived the test of time. Nothing captures this better than the words of Franklin P. Jones: “Perhaps nobody has changed the course of history as much as the historians.”
In Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George Reflections, what is reflected on the surface of the water is not exactly the same as what is found in the perceived reality. Trees are misplaced, or change colours.
Beyond the sweetness of anticipation, one can use a pause, the point of being on the brink of something new, to reflect and consider the narrative of their lives, recording what their own story has been so far before continuing to write it. Though our memories might trick us, there is still value in the act, especially in noticing the gaps in our recollection, and the variations in our interpretation. Perhaps what we have forgotten is no longer meant to be helpful to us as we carry on with our journey.
Every story lies somewhere between history and memory. To be able to tell our story is to do ourselves justice, even if some of the details end up being altered.
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