Monday, 27 April 2015

A Butterfly mind.

My family have always accused me of having a 'butterfly mind' - that is, I seem able to flit from one subject to another with little effort.  I am sure they are right.

I like to think of my mind as a huge filing cabinet in which is stored all the life experiences, all the information, everything I have ever
learned - all ready to be pulled out at a moment's notice.  The trouble is, it doesn't work like that.   I suppose everyone is the same.  Some things I remember (even if inaccurately) as though they happened yesterday and somethings I suspect I have forgotten, or they are buried so deep (or misfiled) in that filing cabinet that I cannot access them.

I came across another piece of useless information yesterday and I have filed it away - you never know when it might come in useful (in a Pub Quiz, a crossword or a conversation).   Did you know that the word 'electric' is the Greek word for amber? If you rub a piece of amber across your cheek several times it creates a tiny shock - so it was considered a good word to use.

Friend M and I were sitting reminiscing the other afternoon, talking about the old days - twenty five years or so ago - when she and her partner used to meet the same two couples every Friday and go out for lunch together.  We could remember all the names except that of one of the wives - and that escaped both of us, until the middle of the night on Saturday night, when I awoke quite suddenly and thought 'Dora' - and yes, that was her name.   Had my filing cabinet been sorting quietly on its own for several days, ordering and cataloguing until it suddenly popped up with the correct answer?   I like to think so.

The mind is indeed a marvellous thing.   An elderly Aunt of mine many years ago was quietly dying.   She was bedridden, and being no trouble (which was how she had been pretty much all her life) 
and when I called in to see her she said how pleased she was to see me and that she had just returned from a walk around the village (she had not lived there for at least fifty years) - she described various features and various people she had met.   I have always thought that that was just a marvellous way to go out of this world.

17 comments:

Heather said...

What a lovely lady your aunt must have been.
I wish I could liken my mind to a filing cabinet. I fear it is more like an overfull bin liner!

Cro Magnon said...

I can remember certain ancient conversations word for word, but remembering where I left my keys yesterday can sometimes be challenging.

Cranberry Morning said...

I know what you mean! And I love the word origins lesson you gave us. Word origins fascinate me - as does lots of trivia that other people find useless. LOL

donna baker said...

I have always prided myself in my memory skills; some have even asked if I have a photographic memory (which I don't). Now, I guess my brain is overloaded with minutiae because it fails me. Short term memory is the first to go. So why can't I remember names, punctuation and words from long ago? It is beyond frustrating.

Elizabeth said...

Your mind is a wonderful compendium of interesting things.
How lovely to delve in and pull out wonderful trivia.

Rachel said...

I have a very good memory, I remember too much. Men I find have very good selective memory skills.

Gerry Snape said...

Ancient aunts are a wonder...mine was a gem....miss her still!

Bovey Belle said...

I have that process sometimes - a name or word escapes you and then suddenly - often if I am relaxing in the bath or bed - the word will return to me, and I have to write it down before it goes again!

That's rather a splendid way to bow out isn't it, walking round somewhere where you were so happy?

Penny said...

Love this, I tell my family that when you get to a certain age it takes time for the brain filing assistant to find certain things due to there being such a lot of interesting things in there.

angryparsnip said...

My mind works like that also !

cheers, parsnip

The Broad said...

I can totally relate to this post!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Must be called getting old. Thanks for joining in before you forgot to call!

Twiggy said...

I love that your Aunt could remember a special memory, it must have been a comfort. I have a complete butterfly brain, my line manager at work laughs at me about it a lot as she is very methodical, we make two halves of the perfect employee :) I can remember every registration of the cars my Dad had when I was a child, but am unable to remember my current car. Bizarre.
Twiggy

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Oliver Sacks wrote a long piece called "The Landscape of His Mind" about a chap who used to pain his Italian village from memory even though he hadn't been there for 40 years.

Gwil W said...

Everything we put into the mind must end up somewhere. In the case of the walk around the village the mind had created a complete episode of something like The Last of the Summer Wine. Does the mind 'know' it is on the way out and create such pleasant interludes to assist the passage? But imagine if one had lived a terrible life as a violent criminal and a murderer what nightmares the final dream might hold. I think it pays to be good.

Frances said...

I find the notion of having a butterfly mind quite delightful. A butterfly mind would be curious and full of motion.

Thank you for the amber/electric connection. I've now filed it where I hope to be able to find it again.

xo

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone for calling in.