Thursday, July 2, 2009

Digesting Memories -- Writer's Poke #244

Many consider Federico Fellini's 1963 film 8 1/2 to be one of the best films ever made. I don't know if I would go that far, but it certainly is cerebral. Much like Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, reality, memory, and fantasy blur together.

The scene from the film that sticks out most to me is when all of the women in Guido Anselmi's life assemble in one room. Here are his wife, his mistress, old girlfriends, and possibly even women that simply caught his eye for a brief moment on the bus. What an odd and potentially horrifying scenario! And yet, all the women wear big smiles, and everyone appears to be having a jolly-good time -- almost as if they are attending a pleasant memory reunion of sorts.

Why do certain memories stay with us? According to Edmund Bolles, "We remember what we understand; we understand only what we pay attention to; we pay attention to what we want."

So what exactly does Guido want? That's a question that works on many levels, but at the most basic level, he's probably no different than anyone else. He wants compassion, love, and understanding. And he doesn't want to be alone.

What memories do you pay most attention to? What do you learn from your experiences?

"Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories." -- Steven Wright

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