TRICKS OF MEMORY

Image result for ancient egypt

Pyramids of granite, faced with limestone.  The pharaohs Cheops, Akhenaton, Tuthmoses.  The gods Osiris, Hathor, Anubis.  The rise and fall of the Nile.  Mummification processes.  Cartouches.  Ushabtis.  Perfumed cones of wax on the heads of party-goers.

All so familiar from – how long ago?  60 years, I reckon.  I was fascinated, riveted by the ancient Egyptians when I was still at primary school.  I taught myself most of it, soaking it up, scouring any book available.  And it stuck.

Here’s what I find strange:    the knowledge I acquired then with such focus and clarity is just as vivid now  – I haven’t forgotten any of it.

I was pondering this, sitting  and watching Dan Cruikshank explaining it all this evening.  I still know it all.  How come it’s so strong in my memory when I forget so much else?

As I grew older I went on absorbing information, like everyone else, but I don’t remember it half as well, if at all.  Even though I did some further study on a completely different subject recently, it isn’t securely lodged with bright pins of knowledge in my head, like this stuff I learned when I was a child.

I’d love to know what makes the difference.

(image from National Geographic Kids)
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10 thoughts on “TRICKS OF MEMORY

  1. Yes, when we are adults we have more responsibilities and we also are distracted by the News which has been really bad since Brexit and Trump.Children may gave tasks to do but no ultimate responsibility so they can read stories or look at TV without anxiety about all the things we have to think of.And children are usually keen to learn too.I think some adults are but some were made fearful by school and can’t think of learning anything new.They are happy to be distracted by their smartphone or other gadgets,I hope you have a really Happy Easter,Gill and thanks for all you did when I first started to write on the Internet and didn’t really know what a blog was.

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      1. Too much responsibility!:)

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  2. I was obsessed with ancient Egypt as a child, also with astronomy. I have the world’s worst memory for facts, they refuse to stay in my brain, I seem to think in pictures, those images never fade, I recall zillions of memories if they have an image. That hasn’t changed with age, funnily enough.xxx

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    1. It sounds very similar to the way my mind works too xx

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  3. Ha ha, I love that image, how true it is! And how cross I get when I have to untie myself and go and do something else !

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  4. Sometimes though, something will remind me of something I thought I’d forgotten completely, and then one memory will bring another… it’s like a gift from another incarnation.

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    1. I feel rather wistul sometimes about the little girl I was : the ability to focus and absorb and not be distracted by a thousand other things.

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      1. My guess is you still have that ability to focus. I don’t like to be distracted either… and most of the time, I just don’t let it happen. Though sometimes, I forget to tie myself to the mast and get tempted.

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    2. I know what you mean. I have cogitated on this. As Shimon says, and it always pleasantly surprises me, recall is facilitated when you least expect it. Anterior memory is always more competent, I think. I wonder if it is because in youth, we were given the space to focus, by not knowing, nor understanding what the grown ups were all concerning themselves about, what they were busying their thoughts and actions with.

      Interesting post.

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