Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Don't You Just Hate it When...

     Don't you just hate it when you're trying to think of the name of someone or a place name and it just doesn't come out of the memory bank in your brain? It's right on the tip of your tongue but you cannot retrieve the name. You can see the person or place. You can see the setting with all the details but no, the name doesn't come up.

      Two of these frustrating incidents happened to me this week.

      While I was skating, I was talking to my friend Bob who had worked his whole life in the Arctic. we find that we know many of the same people and then the conversation flows to events around these people.

      When I got home, I began to think of a prominent northerner. This guy had been to my house in northern Quebec. He was well known so I knew who he was but had never met him. I couldn't get his name. I knew he was connected to Innuit printmaking and soapstone carving. I thought of other people who were prominent in this field. Yes, he was connected to Eskimo cooperatives. I thought one of my books had his picture. I looked. I found his photo but it didn't include a name. First names came to my mind but they didn't bring any results. Last names? They were people who were active in other related areas. I came up with their names.

      I googled. I found photos but no name. Finally, I found the name and instantly many things bounced back into my head.

     There was a write up about Peter Murdoch on one site. It was an article about him receiving the Order of Canada in late 2014! Wow! Peter had retired in 1997 after being in Northern Canada for fifty years.

    I scrolled down to the next article only to find that it was his obituary. Peter died Dec.15, 2015. 

     So I spent a whole evening puzzling about Peter and finally found the information and it brought back much more.

     A very pleasant lady works part time in the local library. I see her two or three times a year. Everytime I go home and I can't remember her name. Her husband was a highschool teacher. Her daughters went to the school I taught in. All of these things I can see in my mind...her husband, daughters , but I can't bring the name up. I go home and seriously start trying to remember the name. I think the name starts with H??? That doesn't lead anywhere. Then I think of somebody with a similar name and bingo, the name pops into my head.

    So it's a frustrating situation. Why does it happen? In the first example I haven't heard much about Peter for the last 45 years. In the second situation I see the lady several times a year and talk about her kids and new grandchildren . She also know my children.

     So as long as this doesn't get any worse I can live with it. Sooner or later the name does pop into my head.

    How about you? Are some things difficult to retrieve from the old memory bank?