Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Memory


I'm in the throes of reading the 2011 Booker prize winning book: "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, recommended to me by one of my brothers.

It's one of those books that gets me reflecting on my own memory, how accurate is it, how much have I changed it to erase hurts or slights, or enhanced it to heighten the pleasures or deepen the sweet nostalgia. And also on the incompleteness of my life to date. Dreams left unfulfilled, days wasted. Nights too.

Friends unmade. I thought of that tonight when playing cards and I've sensed a good friend lies underneath someone I've known superficially for quite a while and I am at a loss for words as to how to make that more clear than I already have with time, seriously, running out on me. My life at least 3/4 lived, if not more.

Funny how books can do that to one. Gets your mind rambling down hitherto unknown boreens knowing the candle to light the way is flickering down to a nub. Wondering how reliable memory is, especially for a writer who tweaks the twists and turns anyway.

Thank you Julian Barnes for the brain-stretch. It is invigorating.

11 comments:

  1. A familiar place you describe. I always love how someone 50-years old will describe themselves as middle-aged. Makes me wonder how they know they're going to be around for their 100th anniversary of arrival on this clump of earth. :-)

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  2. They broadcast Julian Barnes book on Radio 4. Most affecting. In the film 'The Secret' one of the contributors opines that whatever you do in life IS your mission in life so don't worry about it and just follow your passions because that is what is in closest alignment with your heart.

    Though from an outsider's perspective, sounds like you have a largely wonderful and fulfilling life that many would envy!

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  3. My wise mother once said that life is about the memories you make with those that you love. I am so very fortunate to have many wonderful and loving memories with all those that I love....and I suspect you feel the same! xo

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  4. Maybe that new good friend, is unsure of how to voice the same thoughts that you have. Make a move or regret it for a long time. We only come this way once.

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  5. so agree about the Sense of an Ending. I have had such a chequered life and now at 70, moved to reflect more because of this book and to backtrack on long-forgotten journals, I feel a greater sense of perspective.

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  6. I agree with Grannymar, WWW.
    Do it! Take the risk. Taking risks is one thing that can stop us from feeling and becoming old and sighing over what might have been.

    Sing along with the wonderful Peggy~~

    Is that all there is, is that all there is
    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
    Let's break out the booze and have a ball
    If that's all there is

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  7. We live twice, don't we - once as we are in the thick of it and again in our memory. Now I must go order that book so I can stretch my brain, too.

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  8. I like reading books recommended by other people because I hope it will lead to discussions about them. I always wonder what they got out of the book and if it is the same thing that I did. My memories are a mixed bag and I'm waiting for wisdom and old age to sort them out properly. I'm too confused about them now.

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  9. The lines dividing acquaintances from friends and lovers are very thin. The right opportunity and environment and the relationship can move either way! So, who knows, it may happen yet at the right moment in the right ambiance.

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  10. Hey there WWW, can't remember if I mentioned this to you before or not, but it could be an answer to your spotty internet service: http://www.xplornet.com/index.aspx

    Apparently these guys are doing a pretty good job providing internet service to rural areas across the country. Their HQ is just "up the road" from moi. :-)

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  11. I hope to read this book, having heard very good things about it from a few sources I trust more than most. Memory is always incomplete and unreliable; the tricky bit is, as you say, wondering how (un)reliable, and where.

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