Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Memory Triggers

I haven't been hiding, just contemplative.

I listened to some music of the fifties and sixties the other day and it brought back many wonderful memories of hops, high school dances, summer jobs and puppy loves and fun times with friends.

I tried to remember if my parents talked about the music they listened too in the late twenties and thirties. Performers like Guy Lombardo, Cab Calloway, The Mills Brothers, Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby and the profound Ella Fitzgerald. I couldn't recall, but I’m sure they did.

Music is the great remember-er of happy times or sad times, of lost loves or just of younger times, especially when one is older and listens, by chance, to a song that invokes an emotion long gone in the mind but lifted to the conscious surface of thought with a knowing smile.

For me sometimes flavors are like that too. I cooked some fresh green beans the other day and I tasted one raw before it when into the pot. The flavor brought back memories of family holiday dinners and the goodies on the kitchen counter.

Music, tastes and aromas are the sensory catalysts of memories. Sometimes the aroma of a Pot Roast cooking in the oven will take me back to childhood. The ancient dusty smell of a long-used stage will bring me to plays and performances I saw or performed in as a young man. 

The sound of a trickling and gurgling mountain stream moves me to atavistic memories of lazy days fishing and hiking; even the occasional pipe smoke one comes across these days will remind me of my Dad. Other aromas invoking memories from the past are cut grass, summer rain, dust from a pillow fight, fresh cut lumber, farm barns, familiar perfume, stale smoke, and coal gas in the morning stoke of the furnace.

Spiritually, I suspect that many of us hear the divine din of the universe when we take the time of let go of all the holding thoughts that keep us from knowing who we are.

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