Thursday, October 2, 2008

Triggers

I was looking for a certain cd to play yesterday morning while getting ready for work. Unfortunately I couldn't find it, but I stumbled upon an old cd that I hadn't listened to in a while. I put it with my purse so I could listen to it on the way to work.

As I listened to my favorite tracks, I was transported to a certain time in my life. It was the time that I listened to this cd often. The songs that related to me so well then, now vividly remind me of who I was then.

Have you ever smelled something and immediately a memory popped into you mind? It isn't always a certain specific date and time; rather, a period of life, a person, or a tradition. For instance, Bath & Body Works' scent Warm Vanilla Sugar makes me think instantly of Italy. It isn't because Italy smells of Vanilla or Sugar, but when I was in Italy, I wore this lotion everyday.

Our olfactory sense (smell) is the stongest way to bring about memories. Did you know that? The simple explaination is that our olfactory bulb is closely associated with the memory parts of the brain.

But, I am music oriented, and I find that music is also a trigger for me. It not only triggers memories, but emotions and responses that I cannot control. I am instantly brought back to a situation or time in my life. Here are a few examples:

If I hear a Steve Green song, I think of riding in the van as a child when it was dark outside. We traveled at while it was dark outside as kids, and Steve Green tapes were always playing.

Put in the Carpenters Christmas cd and I am taken back back to evenings when we would decorate the Christmas tree as a family.

I guess the unfortunate side is that I can also be transported to times that I don't really want to re-live. And, I've noticed (now that I have listened to this cd for 2 days straight) that the response wears off after awhile. But, I'm sure once I put this cd away for a while, the next time I listen to it the same emotions will flood back.

So, what about you? What triggers vivid memories for you?

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Does anyone know how to get that header from being so ginormous?

1 comment:

jnet said...

songs totally trigger memories for me....
"we are the champions" - utah trip
"bye, bye miss american pie" - mike (we were dating)
"let it be" - ecuador trip
"i smile" - sarah's wedding

...i could go on (walk down memory lane) but while i started writing this, it occurred to me that the songs usually not only make me remember a time period in my life, but a person.