“Only the most memorable moments are the ones that I can remember.”

Yes, someone wrote this. Talk about self-defining sentences, or circular sentences, or … where was I?

If we pause a moment we can imagine something poignant here: “I remember so little,” he thinks. “I don’t seem to be able to recall my own life. I can remember only the most memorable moments—all else is lost to me.” Does he suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, or inattention, or overcrowded days and years, or a lazy mind? Does he make the effort and fail, or does he simply assume the big stuff will float to the top and the rest can be ignored?

How does he know how memorable these moments actually are if he can’t remember any others to compare them with? Or does he simply assume that if he remembers something it is by definition memorable?

Did he begin with “Only the most memorable moments” and then find himself unable to finish the thought? Or by the time he came to writing the last few words had he actually forgotten how he began the sentence?

What was he actually trying to say? We’ll never know, as we make another pass on the merry-go-round.

The funniest thing about this sentence is that it sticks in the mind. It is, if you will, memorable.

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About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

7 responses to ““Only the most memorable moments are the ones that I can remember.”

  • Delft

    Actually it’s true. We forget nearly every moment of our lives.
    Which moments of the year 2000 do you remember? Obviously, only the most memorable ones.

  • RAB

    But “memorable” in what ways? It seems self-defining that things are memorable because we remember them…but does that actually SAY anything? In fact my sisters and friends have reminded me of some pretty amazing moments that I SHOULD have remembered. Meanwhile, I can sing the theme songs for almost all the ’50s and ’60s tv shows. NOT “memorable” in the sense of significance; just drilled into my little gray cells by the inexorable marketing machine!

  • Mary Jane Schaefer

    Ah, to have the steel-trap memories of our youth. Even if we have flashbacks of “Brusha brusha brusha, here’s the new Ipana, with the brand new flavor. Knocks out decay germs best, best? best, you sure are right. Neeew Ipana toothpaste.” Sing along with Bucky Beaver. It’s as good as a madeleine.

  • Mary Jane Schaefer

    I love Bosco. It’s rich and choclatty. Chocolate-flavored Bosco is mighty good for me. Mommy puts it in my milk for extra energy. Bosco gives me iron — and sunshine Vitamin D. Oh, I love Bosco. That’s the drink for me!

    Our ditty for the day, Congregation. I guess I watched too much tv?

  • yearstricken

    I can relate to this nugget of truth. I try to think only thinkable thoughts.

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