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I am old, and the older I get, the more I appreciate the brain’s filing system.
I have always marveled at how the brain stores information and how the brain’s information can be accessed.
But now that I am old, I am often amazed at how experiences and people from my early years come forth so vividly. I am aware of the brain’s malfunctions, which include Alzheimer’s (“Old Timers” as one person calls it). Perhaps, because it is Mental Health Awareness Month, I am even more focused on the brain’s activities/domain.
Recently, one of my memories came forth of an incident that occurred more than 50 years ago. It came forth when a friend told me about a racist comment one of her college professors made.
This made me remember a chemistry teacher warning students not to get silver nitrate on their hands because it would make them “little Black Sambos.” I was the only Black person in the class. My white classmates gave the instructor looks that made her leave the classroom. I had not thought of this incident for years, but obviously, it was still stored in my brain.
Below are some of the lyrics from the song Precious Memories written by John B.F. Wright (1877-1959). The first lines capture my memory experiences.
“Precious mem’ries, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the stillness of the midnight,
Precious, sacred scenes unfold…
As I travel on life’s pathway,
Know not what the years may hold;
As I ponder, hope grows fonder,
Precious mem’ries flood my soul.”