My reaction to Lang before starting this unit was that I felt he was saying some very insightful thoughts. His ideas were not shocking to me because I’ve read articles dealing with similar topics, however he was the first to discuss alienation to such a degree. My reaction to Lang now that I’ve done this unit is that of understanding. As I said before, I got what he was saying. I recognized his theory for what it was and then carried on. But doing this unit really brought it home for me. I gained a deeper grasp of his words. I believe that Lang’s point of our forgetting of childhood – not only the content but also the flavor is for the most part true. The nature of memories is that they become blurred and muddy over time – a form of mental corrosion. We are then left with bits and pieces, sometimes not even sure if they really happened or if our minds had created it for no apparent reason. I myself have memories of dreams that seemed so real that the barrier between real life and them has broken down. And this is how it is for my childhood. I am certain of some memories in their realness, yet there are others that I have to question.
Pictures play a great role in helping keep a hold of memories. They serve as great anchors of thought, allowing us to recapture what was lost. I remember, as a part of this project, going through boxes of pictures with my mother. Almost each one seemed to bring back a memory of me from the deepest depths. Her face just lit up. Yet for me, only a few really brought me back to an event, but I was able to remember little chunk of things in the pictures be it a toy or a place, so everything was not completely dead and dull.
Along with pictures, scents and hearing stories about yourself as a child can help as well. Scent is said to be one of the senses most tied to memory. There are certain smells that as soon as I pick them up in my head, they invoke a particular feeling or takes me back to something I’ve experienced long ago. I’m willing to bet that everyone has at least one scent they can identify with in some way. And going further than memory, some scents, new and old, can make us feel safe and comfortable or can make us feel disgusted and awkward. As for hearing stories, sometimes I do remember the event. Having the story being told to me can help to guide the memory, but most of the time it just feels strange. Take, for example, my mother’s tales of how bad I apparently was when I was little, like 5 years of age and younger. She likes to tell people about how embarrassing I was when she would take me with her when she went out shopping and to me it feel seems like a different people. I have no conscience recollection of me beating any male who dared to speak to her and when I picture it in my mind, using what she described I’m merely watching a little version of myself running around attacking people – it is all in third person. And honestly, I just can’t see myself, the way I am now, doing such things.