Monday, June 22, 2009

On forgetting and remembering one's classmates

I just took a little trip down memory lane over the weekend when one of my high school friends, who I truly hadn't seen in a couple of decades, came to town and had lunch with me one day. Any event like this is an exercise in reminiscence--there's a bit of taxing of the grey matter that's both challenging and enjoyable. I wouldn't automatically have mentioned this on this blog, but I had an odd experience in relation to this that seemed apropos. My friend mentioned a name from our class, someone whom she'd gotten to know a bit better in recent years, and though I knew the name, could even remember the brother of the girl, I couldn't remember the person she meant at all. My friend left to return home and I was mulling over all that we'd talked about, when suddenly the image of the girl snapped into place. This is someone I haven't thought of since I graduated high school, I think, but suddenly she was vivid to me, unforgotten after all. And I have to say that this recollection of a person I had completely forgotten about filled me with a sense of elation and well being. It wasn't anything about the person herself so much as the mental act of remembering that was the elixir. It was like a replenishing or a repopulating of my own inner substance. It was unusual, though I suspect others have similar moments to recount. Feel free to do so here...


  1. You are so right...I think recalling one's classmates (or friends) have a lot to do with names, which I forget very easily. But when somebody (a common friend) mentions the name, it acts as a kind of trigger and brings to mind quite clearly a picture (appearance, habits, mannerisms) of the supposedly-forgotten friend.

  2. Thanks for affirming this impression, Sucharita. It's a very odd feeling to recall someone that you had completely forgotten! But apparently some part of one's brain retains what the more conscious mind does not.