Empty forests 7

If a forest is empty and a tree falls does it make a sound?

I’m sure most people are familiar with that old trope but what if you have no memory of something that happened to you. Would it still have been you?

What am I withering on about?

Today I had what I’m fast coming to think of as Facebook-vu. An old friend posted a picture of a bunch of us from – as near as I can make out – twelve years ago. Now the thing is, it’s clearly me in the picture: my face, my hair, etc but: I have no recollection of either the photo being taken or when. I mean zip not just a little faded or I don’t really remember it but stuff around it. I mean gone: no context whatsoever

It’s not the first time it’s happened either. A friend from way back when I was tiddler once related a completely believable story about me and again I had no actual memory of the event at all. In fact I seem to forget a lot of things around the ten year mark. Anyone else get this? I don’t mean something you remember on prompting I mean full blown lack of recall.

And more importantly does that mean it actually happened to me? After all our perception of reality is almost entirely defined by our senses and our memory. Am I still that Neil? Why am I drinking lager from a cup? Why am I trying to perform some kind of demon gurn?

These are important questions.

Now, for anyone wondering why I write – that’s why. Because I am cursed blessed with a mind that will not shut off and so I have to give it stories to chew on or it starts gnawing on me. That concludes today’s insanity

About Neil

Father of three (but you can only see two), writer, digital boffin, reader, geek and probably some other stuff. Trapped behind a keyboard or chasing around after a 3 year old, somewhere in Wales.

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7 thoughts on “Empty forests

  • GLP

    It’s a sign of getting older. You will soon notice you can no longer remember the surnames of old girlfriends. Then you will realise you’ve forgotten all but a handful of the people you went to school with.

    It’s a slippery slope.


  • GLP

    Surely if, according to quantum theory, the forest itself is in a state of indeterminate existence until the act of viewing by an external oberver causes it to collapse into one of two possible states – “real” or “not real”, then if a tree falls and no-one is there to hear it, then the tree itself may not exist.

    Get your head around that.

  • G

    Ah yes – you are presupposing the metaphysical existence of the forest in the first place, ala schrodinger’s cat. However, you are forgetting the fundamental issue that transcends the question of sound in the forest – namely – there is no cat.
    get your head round that!…… if you can prove there’s something to get your head round?….. providing you can prove you have a head… i think i need a coffee…..

    is there coffee???


  • Justin

    There may or may not be coffee. I’m promising nothing.

    And even if you can’t remember it, you’re still responsible for it. If it applies to alcohol-fuelled faux pas, then it certainly applies to the empty forests of your mind.

  • Abbi

    I can’t remember anything from primary school… nada… but I think that was my psyche blocking it out for fear that I would completely lose my will to live otherwise.

  • Laura

    Exactly the same thing is happening to me – and I mean EXACTLY! I have hazy recollections of a few things, but almost comlpete mental eclipse on huge chunks of my life! I’m not that old am I? anyhow Neil, thats an interesting name… sounds strangely familiar….