Tuesday, January 13, 2015
the mystery of memory...
I just finished reading a post from another blogger, Michael Harling's 'Postcards from Across the Pond' that certainly brought back memories of my dad and his pipe. Dad was born in London in 1907 and immigrated to the US with his family for the first time when he was 11. They actually *crossed the pond* 3 times before deciding to stay here in the US in 1920.
I never knew my paternal grandparents as they both died when I was still a baby in the 1940's. So there's no way for me to know if my grandfather smoked cigars or pipes, but my dad did. And I love the smell of both (although I have to say that the smell of a pipe tops the smell of a cigar). But both are nostalgic for me and to this day (and I'm pushing the big 7-0) make me feel happy, safe, and loved.
Which brings me to the gist of this post, the mystery of memory. Apparently odors are big memory jarr-ers (is that even a word?) Anyway, you know what I mean. There must be an area of our brain that retains the memory of odors and connects them somehow to something (a time, a place, a person). I imagine this is being studied by someone in Neuroscience... at least I would hope so.
If you've never read Michael's posts, please check them out as they are humorous and extremely well written (not anything like my home-grown postings of ..a day in the life - aka 'Older but better'). In this particular one called "Getting in Touch with My Inner Geezer", Michael mentions that he is a cigar smoker that has recently taken up the pipe for (if I read it correctly) *aesthetic* reasons - meaning he likes the way it looks.
I have to agree with him. IMO a pipe looks dignified.... a cigar not so much... whereas a cigarette makes one look *hard* (hope this doesn't offend anyone, but IMO it just does). And I love the pictures of the particular pipe smokers he included in his article. Here are 2 of the 4 taken from his website.
BTW, Michael has also written several books which are on my reading list for 2015. If his books are anything like his posts, I know I will enjoy them.