Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh How I Hate To Forget. Oh How I Hate To Force Remembering.

So this has happened to me several times before. I've been at work, I've been doing whatever, I have an idea, I play with it for a little while, and then I forget it. A little while later I say to myself 'oh snap, we had an idea that we really wanted to write about it, but now I can't remember what it was'. It is these distinct ideas, these ideas that are worth my mental effort. I want them. But then they slip away.

Then I put all this directed effort into remembering. I go 'okay lets think about this or that and maybe we will remember'. But deliberate thought isn't nearly as fun, fruitful, or as easy as daydream inspiration. I don't want to lapse into d-mode: that over deliberate and directed mode of thinking. It just doesn't help.

So what to do about these ideas? Know that I have lost them? Well, I just move on. And that is fine.

But perhaps I should write this one essay I have planned. 'The Encapsulation of Your Own Thought: Turning Fog Into Marbles'. On July 19th I wrote this: "I had moments where I thought something in the shower then forgot it. But if I had encapsulated that thought, by really grasping it in its uniqueness, I would have been able to recall it with greater ease."

Who knows how to retain thought. I did write some things down in my journal today. Things I knew I really wanted to write about. And I certainly will write about those things. But what to do when a thought has slipped into that world of fog? What to do when that somehow 'important' thought has slipped beneath the surface of my mind? Who knows.

But one thing I will say is that I need to seize on it. I need to write it down so that I can remember it later. That is what encapsulation and reenactment is all about. Hmmm. I should write that essay. Then I'd be able to understand this process more. How is it that you rein in your own thoughts? Turn them into something that can be easily recalled? How do I transform my thoughts from that vague daydreamy fog into a firmer object like a marble?

Writing is probably a crucial part of the answer. It would do two things: 1. it would produce external evidence of the thought that I could then refer to later, and 2. the process of writing would likely cement and clarify the thought in my mind, so that I might not even need to refer back to it.

Perhaps I'll give this issue an extended look at some point. But this brief reflection has helped me a bit. I was frustrated with forgetting, so now I feel a little better. And now I bet the next time I have a worthwhile thought I will simply write it down.

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