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October 6, 2014: Just Another Day

We humans don’t remember days in their entirety – actually, there are a given few who don’t have selective memories, and in fact remember most events and even the dates in which these events occurred. This high degree of minutia extends to shopping lists. Imagine it – being able to recall that you purchased three green peppers on May 5, 1968. Some, it seems, have this capability.

There’s a part of me that wants to remember all the events that have taken place in every day of my life, and accordingly, the dates upon which they occurred. I’d like to be able to pull these events forth from the old brain bucket

Mimi unloading compost onto her garden

and then look at them in relation to other events. Like, say, why did I purchase three green peppers? Of what consequence was this to my dinner guests? I guess I do have some abilities to recollect some things. I just don’t do this in a catalogue like fashion.

I write nonfiction, and specifically memoir, in order to recall certain things. Memory being what it is, I shape these things to my present day perceptions. I do this in writing dispatches. I don’t now usually recall what a previous day’s dispatch contained. Looking at titles brings the big picture to mind, but does not bring specific details back to mind.

There must be a correlation between long- and short-term memory – the more long-term memory one acquires, the less short-term memory one has on hand. Here’s my analogy. It’s as though the brain bucket holds two substances, let’s say vinegar and oil. The more oil you put in the bucket, the less room you have for vinegar. This is simplistic, but I think apt.

There are exceptions to the short-term memory fizzle, yesterday being one of them. I am remembering key events because they were significant. I got up and out early – shoveled compost into 21 five gallon buckets. I cleared the broccoli garden bed, and then with Pete, I took down the tomato vines. Our friend Bill Schmidtkunz came over for pancakes, and after he left, our friend Heather Ashe came over and we went for a ride. We saw bear tracks on the trail. And last night, I talked with Kandis Horton about my doing a centered riding internship at her place. And just before going to bed, I finished reading My Horses, My Teachers, by Alois Podhajsky.

And today? Most likely I won’t remember it. I can tell you that the sun’s now shining brightly. The snow that fell two days ago is also sticking to the ground. It’s patchy. I am (in a few minutes) to go for a ride with Pete. We are taking the dogs with us. This afternoon Mimi, our house sitter, is coming over to get some of our compost facility compost for her garden.

I’m also planning on going through Dressage/CT Magazine, and if I can, pull forth and organize Kathleen Lockhart’s articles on sports psychology. I will clean the goat pen, and I might work on the flatbed trailer.

I’ll later remember that we took compost to Mimi’s place. But I won’t in a month’s time be able to tell you what date we did this on, that is unless I write this down on the wall in front of me.

Just how important is any of this? It’s important in that the categorizer/organizer in me wants to be able to have some form of access to thoughts and insights, as these relate to specific events.

All this reminds me that I need to get going on revising Lessons Learned and the Bill Fuller project. My Writing Sustainably proposal IS going before the The University of Alaska Press board, so I might very well start working on this in the very near future.

Next: 267. 10/7/14: Lessons Learned: A Different Outcome