Archive for November, 2014

3D Memories

Retaining memories, especially the good ones, is one of the most wonderful aspects of being human.

Memories, however, fade over time and require a physical or visual reminder to help evoke the feelings, the fun, and the good of the memory.

We know this from our own experiences. There has also been quite a bit of research into the use of photographs and pictures to help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease to recall incidents and stimulate the mind, memories and bran function. Pictures and images do help us to remember, which also explains why they are so precious to us.

Unfortunately, the visual aids are something that are lacking for those with visual impairments. Their memories fade, just like those of the rest of us, yet they have no access to these precious reminders. They lose the memories of those special moments of life; of special occasions, special people, and significant moments.

Just as the language of Braille was created to enable blind people to read and gather information, a company in Singapore, calling themselves Pirate3D, is experimenting with 3D printer technology to provide those  unable to see with a ‘touchable memory’.

Essentially, they are reproducing visual images such as photographs, into three dimensional shapes via 3D printing. This provides those who are blind a physical, tangible and touchable ‘image’ which gives them the stimulation required to remember those special moments.

You can read more about the project here, and see the profound impact the three dimensional ‘images’ have on those who cannot see.

It highlights not only the beauty of our memories on our being, but also why keepsakes and reminders are so important to us, and to the memories of the important times in our lives.

We Do Not Remember Days

“We do not remember days. We remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.”

- Cesare Pavese, Italian poet and novelist.

Often, when we look back across the years, it is easier to recall singular moments than it is to remember an entire series of events. Even the most special occasions do not usually become memories we can play back scene by scene. We might remember isolated incidents, but those special days are more likely to be stored in our hearts and minds in the forms of feelings. When we sit back and recall a wedding, for instance, it is often the echo of the emotions we experienced that comes back to us.

Sometimes life can be so busy, the days and weeks blur into months and even years, and when we do have a chance to look back, all we can remember is the hustle and haste of taking care of business. If we aren’t careful, we find ourselves doing some occasional task, like Christmas shopping, and suddenly feel like it is only yesterday since we last did so, even though an entire year has passed.

That’s why it is important to try to notice each moment. Take time to truly take in the ever-changing people, the near-constant flux of emotions and the ongoing series of events that take place in your each and every day. Paying attention to your surroundings and the people near to you will deepen your appreciation and understanding of them. People who manage to pay sincere attention and develop mindfulness practices not only report a greater sense of well-being, but usually have a better developed ability to recall past events accurately.

This is your life! Stop and watch what is going on around you. Don’t miss the moments that would have become memories.