Saturday, March 26, 2011

When you put your brain plane on autopilot, sometimes the plane flies in weird places...

I've been thinking a lot about memories lately.  They are interesting things.  Apparently, every time you remember something, you are only further perverting the memory.  Things get bigger, details hide away, reality is progressively distorted.  That's an interesting concept to me.  That means some of my most precious memories of the past could now not be memories at all, but figments of my imagination.  Maybe I plant memories in my own head so that they are how I wished them to be, but not really how they were.  What is my earliest memory?  I used to think that I could remember a time when I was probably two-and-a-half or three years old.  I was still living in the gray house, and I had broken something on the stone fireplace mantle.  Something made of glass.  The glass was blue...  An adult was there, scolding me for touching things that shouldn't be touched and for being careless, but I can't remember if it was my dad or my mom or my grandmother.   For some reason I remember the fireplace was in the basement, but there was no stone mantle fireplace in the basement.  And I remember the blue glass vase or whatever it was to be something that belonged to my grandmother...  But my grandmother wasn't living with us at the time.  When I was three, we moved into her house, and she also had a stone mantle fireplace.  And what parent would scold a two-year-old as harshly as I remember being scolded?  Maybe I was a little older than two...  So maybe I'm remembering a true event, just in the wrong place and at the wrong time.  Maybe it's not an actual event I am remembering, but a feeling.  A feeling of guilt, sadness.  But is that really a memory?  Perhaps I just fashioned the whole thing in my head.
Man, now my brain hurts.

We're reading about Proust in my Humanities Class.  In that book, he talks about an experience he had when he again tasted a madelaine cake that he used to eat in his childhood.  His aunt would give it to him when he visited. Sure, he had seen the cakes many a time since those days, but only when he tasted and smelled it did the vivid image of standing beside his aunt come back in full force.  Funny how memories work that way.  Sometimes you remember something you forgot you remembered, and it takes very special circumstances to get that memory going again.  Often smell or taste is the most direct way to conjure a memory.  Matter of fact, when I'm thinking about certain times and certain places, I can almost still smell the same scents that were present at the time of the memory.  I remember the smell of the Stratmans' house, the rainy air of the Oregon coast, the stale scent of Mr. Morgan's physics classroom, and the rancid stench of the cows at the Minnesota State Fair.  I recall the bland taste of the gel my orthodontist used to take molds of my teeth, my mom's stromboli she used to make when the missionaries came over, the gummi worms I had during my breaks at work, and the taste of Jake Tengelsen's lips on mine when he first kissed me that summer of 2007.  Yes, smell and taste are such amazing and powerful memory tools!

Some other tiny memories I can randomly recall that I didn't ever remember I had....

Brandi Tucker expressing her excitement about the upcoming Owl City Concert during calculus class.
Pie day with Freestyle, the day before Thanksgiving Break.  Andrew brought Banana cream.
Going to Target to pick up Christmas presents after work one day.
Sitting in the balcony overlooking the stage on the right side of the Mraz Center during Hell Week of Into the Woods.  Doing my homework up there.  Mike coming to visit from down below.  I felt like Rapunzel.
Playing WarioWare with my roommates when I knew I should be doing my homework.
Playing Sardines with Devin in the dark, and seeing Jordan Beal while I played.
Bonfire with the Raceks.  We were screaming so loud playing night games, the police came to shut us up.
Sitting with mike in his turquoise convertible after my grad party and staying there in his arms til one.
Mr. Franssen giving me a death stare if I started talking too much with my neighbors.
Falling asleep in Mr. Heaton's Social Inequality class.
Getting the word "would" wrong in the class spelling bee in first grade.  Chad Thompson got it right.
Going straight from band class home in eighth grade, bragging to my friends about how I'm getting free guitar lessons from my bishop.
Trying to make a whole world out of my backyard..  Winona Valley, Mr. Salt's store, Strongholds palace.
Seeing the words "NO HANNAH ALLOWED" whitewashed onto one of the boards in the Winey's Treehouse.
Talking to Tara Ryder about God on my way home from an ugly Oklahoma Cast party.  What a kind soul to do that for me.
Dad losing his temper because the house wasn't clean, throwing everything in bags and fuming.
Trying to drive my car when the frost was covering the windshield.  I didn't get very far before I knew this was super dangerous.
Walking around the campus where we held the five-stake girls camp.  Katie was with me.  Later dancing with my pipe-cleaner tiara around my room, thinking I looked beautiful and that god loved me.
Walking around the circle building with Whitley before classes started in Eighth grade.
Missing my first class with Jason Stocker because we didn't know where the right room was.  Holy cow Jason Stocker....
Talking to Taggart about popularity while wandering around his basement, fidgeting with the exercise equipment.
Kevin Phyle saying "LUNCH" obnoxiously during Ms. Brickner's class before lunchtime.
Dancing around with Ellen during twilight on a summer evening.  Singing very loudly.
Getting new bed curtain things to hang in my room as a compromise for wanting a canopy bed.

Listening to:  Feul's "Hemorrhage"
Things Going on Today:  meet with the Omni Landlord, homework.
Blessings:  Saturday mornings.  Snow.  Grooveshark.


  1. Or you know, you could not use Full names without permission...

  2. Please remove last names.