Something happens to memories as a person ages. Memories seem to have a best before date and then, after that, they are as good 40 years later as they are 4 years later. When you are 25 the distance to childhood memories (15 or more years) seems long, when you are 55 the distance to memories 15 years ago seems short. By the time you are 85, 15 years must feel like a moment. Perhaps there is a formula that would explain or at least describe this phenomenon. As the age number increases the distance that it seems to the memory decreases. It’s as if memories are not lined up consecutively but are distanced from your ‘present’ like the spikes of a sputnik. Time and space have this in common. The memory of a place does not become less clear in direct relation to the physical distance it is away.
My mother’s Alzheimers gives me reason to think about the peculiarities of memory.
Yesterday when I visited her she told me that something strange happens when she re-reads the letters that I have sent to her over the years. “When I point my pencil at the words they rearrange themselves and become long words and the sentences become long and different.”