Recollections Are Not Facts – Thank Heavens

20 years ago I experienced a major stroke, which left me temporarily bereft of most memory. For a brief time I floated in a world that had no children, no spouse, no language, no art, no history. It was as if I were a computer that had lost it’s hard drive.

Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine and the then experimental procedure of TPA, my memories slowly returned. However it left me with a lingering suspicion of reality. I now understand just how tenuous the relationship between truth and my ability to recall truly is. In fact, during my recovery I walked the line between reality and fiction every day. I learned when facts fail, recollections of sights, smells and sounds endure.

I came away from the experience with an appreciation of facts, but still I found an even greater love of recollections with all the subtle enhancements my senses can add.

A continuing part of my recovery over the years has been to accept and appreciate my inability to remember superfluous facts. I now relish my enhanced recollections and learned to live in a world that is guaranteed to be better as it ages.

– Clarence Hom

Memories are fleeting moments here on variable loan,
They are not frozen images chiseled into solid stone.
They are the lingering taste of chocolate on the back of my tongue.
Or the warmth I felt at noon time, as I looked into the sun.

Recollections are celebrations, a party for one’s self
Heady compilations pulled from a top most shelf
The best are fragile moments pulled from our past
Colored by experience with thoughts that are often recast.

Recollections are built from history liberally enhanced by our dreams,
Memoirs of bits and pieces all exploding from the seams.
Photos stand as sentries, highly focused on the details
Memories work with senses making stories to fill our sails

Celebrate your memories sans worries of trivial facts,
Don’t sweat the story of what happened between the cracks.
Just sit back and taste the chocolate and feel the shinning sun
The best memories should always be the most fun.

5 thoughts on “Recollections Are Not Facts – Thank Heavens

  1. I am so thankful that you are here with us and healthy!! From what I have observed, your memory is pretty darn good!!! Congratulations on your glorious recovery!

  2. “love of recollections with all the subtle enhancements my senses can add.”

    While perhaps not completely factual all our recollections are enriching. Even those who have the facts(allegedly) don’t have it right anyway because everything is a mere perception of fact anyway. Besides our personal world is real to us despite it all. I am encouraged by you recovery as I have health issues too.

  3. what an experience. i love your reflections on this. it reminds me of something a friend of mine who recently lost everything in a flood said, it was something like, “When everything was taken away from me, I realized I wasn’t what I thought, I was not those things. I thought I was.”

    I’ve also been thinking a lot about “truth” lately. It occurs to me over and over that truth is different for each individual. We might even all be in the same place experiencing the same events, and yet somehow they look different to each of us. It’s so interesting to me.

    Thank you for this eye opening and thought provoking post.

  4. I’m glad that you have recovered so well. It may be for the better that you can’t remember all the facts since everyone seems to have their own set of them these days. 🙂

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