The Brain Forgets

The Body Remembers

I don’t know what triggered the tiny flicker of a crumb of a memory from the way back recesses of my brain, but I could see it, clearly. I coaxed a bit of yarn from this beautiful chaos of spring green yarn, tied it into a loop and I was off.

As my hands took over the steps to create Jacob’s Ladder, I was fascinated by how they knew where to begin. I did a little research on the term “body memory” and discovered a book “Consciousness and the world” written by Brian O'Shaughnessy.

My general takeaway is that having likely performed the fine motor movements required to create the ladder come from, or are influenced by internal information:

  • Interoception: (inside) such as your bodies position, are you relaxed, etc. It could be thought of as your internal ecosystem.

  • Proprioception, the sense of the position of the body, arms and legs.

  • Vestibular Information (inner ear) is your body at rest, sitting still.

All that plus five senses seems kind of mind blowing. How amazing are we humans? We’re a mass of electrical sensors taking in unimaginable amounts of data each minute and making sense of it to boot. My hands made this today from memory.

Creating Jacob’s ladder must be along the lines of what it’s like to drive a car. If one had to pay attention to every single glance in the rear view mirror, check speed, fuel, oncoming traffic, signs, turn signals, tail lights not to mention the out-of-state drivers who have no idea…. A simple car trip to the grocery would be totally mentally and physically exhausting. I am in awe.