Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Remember

As a person with the memory capacity of an ant, I often dream of what it would be like to remember things. I'm related to a number of people who can not only remember the exact dinner that they ate on a trip to San Francisco ten years ago, but what they were wearing, and the conversation that they had while they were eating (Yes, Tanya, I'm talking about you!). I, on the other hand, have trouble remembering the names of my children.

So maybe I was a bit more eager than a normal person to read MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. If there was a trick to remembering inside its pages, I wanted to learn it, stat, before I forgot anything else.

Although I might not have learned a magic recipe for remembering by reading Foer's book, I did come away with a great understanding of how and why we remember and thoroughly enjoyed his exploration of the mind as well as the goofy world of the USA Memory Championships. The ancient techniques of using a Memory Palace, which Foer describes in some detail, are not only beautiful metaphorically, but made me itch to try out. I love the image of strolling through the elegant estates inside my mind and carefully placing my memories inside their sunlit rooms.


  1. sounds like a great book--would like to read it and learn the ways of remembering

  2. Sounds wonderful! I'm pretty good at remembering things that happened long ago, which is great for my memoir writing, but sometimes I have trouble remembering things that happened more recently, like what I had for lunch. :)

  3. While I don't remember well either, I do know that smells trigger memories for me.

    This sounds like an interesting read.

  4. But I bet you remember the salmon, potatoes, and asparagus we ate in Stamford last week, right? (I feel so honored to be mentioned in a blog post!)

  5. I read Foer's book this year too (and also have a sieve-like memory, which to a writer is a true curse). So I sat right down and tried to memorize a few scriptures using a memory palace. Not sure they have sunk in as deeply as I hoped. Maybe my images aren't bawdy enough (ala Foer's advice, but not so appropriate with scriptures...)
    Your blog always makes me smile, by the way. Very soothing images and words.
    J Ransom