Won’t You Stay and Keep Anna Lee Company?

It’s weird to think about how we’re all just a shaky collection of agreed-upon stories. I was reading the other day about a study where researchers convinced college students that they’d been molested (licked in an unfriendly manner and not let go) by Pluto while at one of the Disney themeparks, even though it hadn’t actually happened. They were able to convince a sizable minority of the people participating in the study to remember it happening.

They made it real for them.

I sometimes wonder how much of my own life is fake, misremembered or misconstrued events that take on meaning to me, or things that seemed trivial at the time that become oversized in importance later. How often do I think something was a turning point in retrospect but, at the time, if there was a curve, it was so gradual as to be unnoticeable.

I’ve been staring at “The Oath of the Thirty-Three Orientals” for three days now. Nothing I’ve read of the landing of the thirty-three easterners would indicate that they should have landed at a place with a building and yet, if you look at the painting, you see that many of them are standing in the shadow of some rectangle with, maybe, a steeple of some sort? perhaps a church? Something casts a shadow.

That’s how I feel about the past–that I’m trying to determine what’s there based on where and when I’m in the dark.

One thought on “Won’t You Stay and Keep Anna Lee Company?

  1. I find myself wondering the same, and often. How much of what I “remember” is real vs. based on a story someone else has told me that I’ve since appropriated as my own memory. And why, too, things that seem HUGE and SO IMPORTANT to me now, things I’m convinced have affected me my entire life, never really seemed to be that big of a deal in the past. Is it because of where I’m at now and that the fog has finally lifted? Or is it simply because I’m looking for something, somewhere, in my past to shoulder the blame for poor past decisions?

Comments are closed.