Seeds of Memory

In this month’s Scientific American (May 2013), there is an article called ‘Seeds of Dementia’ by Lary C. Walker and Mathias Juker. Without going into detail, Walker and Juker, through their research, became reasonably certain that mis-folded amyloid beta (Aβ) proteins provide the point around which larger masses of Aβ proteins aggregate, causing synapses to clog up and devastation to spread throughout the brain.

What has this to do with my project?

I was thinking, “Why am I trying so hard to remember things properly?” In my quest to construct a narrative of growing up with an autistic sibling, I’ve tried to get it right. Some information I got from my mother and father, some from my younger brother, relatives and in one instance from a dear childhood friend who still remembers my brother, Michael.

During the information-gathering phase of my ‘brother project’, I spoke to Mike’s caregivers, took notes, wrote down my impressions and took pictures as a means of triangulation, so I would be less likely to ‘mis-fold’ any memories that I was forming.

The core of a memory

If I provide myself with properly folded seed memories, it is more likely that I can build the story of my relationship with my brother and the rest of my family in a proper way. I could present a ‘truthful’ representation, if you will. Everyone has his or her own truth of a situation; one only has to watch the movie Rashomon, to be aware of this.

I would like my truth to be based on properly folded memories, not tangled ones.

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