Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sensory Records

What a pity we can't record these more thoroughly.

We can record what we hear. When my sister-in-law was killed in 2006, I remember thinking of her voice and her voice brought back her expressions and the expressions brought back context. Memories are made from these precious bits. I didn't have a recording of her voice but I found that the school she worked at had a recording of her taking a class. They kindly gave me a copy and I treasure it.

We can't record what we smell. My best smell memory is of the corner grocery store where mum would send me on errands. This was before the advent of supermarkets and being a child, my sense of smell was acute. This store was on the corner of Kings Rd and Dominion Rd in Mt Roskill, run by a family called Watkins. It's been a lawn-mower shop for many years since the supermarkets took over the trade. The smell was of freshly ground coffee and ripe cheese and fresh bread and it was glorious.

We can record what we see. Some people are better at this than I am. The photos I take are poor, hard things. Videos are better. I don't have many but I'm using this media more these days.

We can't record what we touch. I have lost most of these memories. Watching my new grandson use his hands to explore brings it back somewhat.

We can record what we feel. Are people losing their ability to write and express themselves well? When I'm at the record repositories and reading what others wrote way back, I'm often struck by the force of their writing, even when they were recording everyday things.

No comments:

Post a Comment