7.29.2005

Memories and Sense of Smell
when we deal with memories nothing is forgotten....
it is more a matter of failure to retrieve those memories than things actually being forgotten
or so one of my professors told the class in one of my Psychology classes in college

there seems to be something to this concept
in my personal experience I have found that my sense of smell has the ablility to draw out certain memories

this morning while riding my bicycle before work I was taking in the scent of the humid morning and the freshly cut grass as I pedaled along the Potomac River on the Mount Vernon trail
there is a certain smell to cut grass that is still moist from the morning dew
this smell is not just one smell but many subtley different smells... each having the ability to bring back various memories.... so many memories
this morning as I took in the scent of the lawnmower's exhaust and the damp clippings I was delivered the memories of various soccer practices and soccer try outs
so often we would gather in the morning just after the fields had been trimmed
that combination of the dew with a hot August morning where the humidity is just starting to build
so many great memories of so many great experiences
experiences of triumph and experiences of failure
making the team and getting cut from the team
making friends and well... you can reverse the statement yourself

those memories are part of my past
I treasure those memories
and I thank my sense of smell for returning those memories to me

this morning as I rode it was not so much a blend of memories
but rather one memory of one time
then my rational mind carried that specific thought into something different
just like a dream... so often when we wake rather than trying to remember the dream we try to rationalize the dream
causing us to forget that dream never to be retrieved again

okay I am babbling....

other scents that bring back memories
the scent of tar on railroad ties when the temperature is just right often brings back memories of childhood in suburban Boston or other random Tom Sawyer Huck Finn misadventures from my childhood

the smell of excessive car exhaust and burning rubbish can remind me of travels to distant third world lands... bet those lands Nepal, Costa Rica, or Peru

the smell of dried pines often remind me of Northern California or even more local terrain with similar flaura (or is it fauna) that causes the earth to give off that certain scent

perhaps that is why perfume is so popular
women are trying to captivate an emotion in a scent
these women are trying to implant a memory
trying to immortalize themselves by sense of smell

enough with this
better things to blog about

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