Memory fields

I was cycling through quiet neighborhood streets last night, and I heard a
child’s voice, like that of my daughter’s when she was younger. Perhaps
because it was near a park that she and I often went to when she was
younger, I had many memories of her younger self all at once as I wheeled
through the streets.

Earlier in the day, I was reading about electromagnetic fields and
gravitational fields, and I wondered if memory is a field too. We have many
metaphors for memory. The common one is of memory as a giant filing
cabinet. Yet often times I will be passing by something and a sound or a
scent or an image will bring to mind all kinds of memories, pulled out of
my mind like a piece of metal encountering a strong magnet. While sometimes
these events seem random, more often certain places will evoke them. These
places are like memory fields, and passing through or being in them cause
me to recall memories that in other locations I would never have.

When you move a magnet back and forth through a wire coil, you are able to
generate an electrical field. Likewise when you put a bunch of photos or
objects in front of you, you are able to generate a memory field, and all
kinds of memories can come back to you. The memories aren’t filed away so
much as looking for a chance to be generated. They are always there, like
gravity is always there.

Sent from my BlackBerry Handheld.

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