shaping memories

poppy seed heads

I mentioned “memory” in yesterday’s blog post, which is hardly a new subject for this blog: if you search on the word, you’ll find eight pages of posts come up, or 29 pages if you search for “remember”. This compares with no instances -until now – of “forgetfulness” and just six pages of posts including the word “forget”.

Since they are two sides of the same coin, I wonder why there is such a bias. Presumably it’s the way I phrase things: I probably talk more about “not remembering” than I do about “forgetting”, but I’m not sure why.

Pondering all this led me on to the poppy, which – perhaps because drowsiness and relaxation are effects of opium – used to be associated with forgetfulness. Even after rummaging around on Google for a while, I’m not quite sure which photo I should be including at this point. I don’t want a simple red corn poppy, which is now more readily linked with remembrance, but whether this ruffled giant is a papaver somniferum, I’m not sure:

Giant poppy close up

I think the size may be right, but not the colour, whereas, while this one may be the right colour, I’m not convinced it’s big enough:

pink poppy

It probably doesn’t really matter, as they’re mostly there to brighten up the page on a dreary winter afternoon.

I also thought I’d post some poetry but, looking through my files, I find that, once again, the words focus on memory, even when the poems are about trying not to forget.


– this here, this now – is all
we have, this point in time
between two times: the past
has passed beyond our reach
and though we reach to grasp
the future, it recedes, and this
is all we have. My fingers skim
your skin; I trace your shape
and try to shape a memory.
The night is short, and now
is all we have.

forget-me-not flower close up

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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