All posts tagged memories

I remember

Joe BrainardMemories are a central issue in therapeutic contexts as well as meditation. Both work to access memories that produce unconscious barriers in our lives, in order to let go of inner friction. In her book The Shaking Woman, the American novelist Siri Hustvedt refers to another book, by Joe Brainard, called I Remember. Every entry in Brainard’s book begins with the words “I remember”:

I remember that I never cried in front of other people.

I remember how embarrassed I was when other children cried.

And so on. While working with patients, Hustvedt observed how using the same technique automatically brings memories to the surface:

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The loss of a dear one can be a traumatic experience. At other times, it can cause a milder reaction – some sadness, nostalgia, fond memories, and reflection on life and death.

We all carry an image of our friends in our minds. When we have regular contact with those friends, the image constantly grows and changes over time as a result of our interactions with him or her. When the friend is no more, what happens to this image? Perhaps it gradually sinks into the unconscious, being brought to the surface only when certain occasions, places, or persons remind us of it.

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