Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've Got a Theory: Brain Storage System -I even illustrated!-

So I have this theory about how our brains hold everything. Since a picture says a thousand words, and I know you don't want to read a several-thousand-word post, I decided to illustrate my point. Literally.

As you are going throughout your day, everything you experience and learn goes right in here:
It's not a huge container-- it fits exactly a day's worth of stuff. If there is anything you learned during the day, or any memories you really want to keep, you've got to pull them out of this bin and stick them into your brain storage system. Because while you are sleeping at night, the night clean-up crew comes along, preparing for the next day, and dumps it all into this:

This is a much larger container. It can fit a LOT of days' worth of memories. So if you forget to put something into your brain storage system that you really wanted to keep, you can go dumpster-diving in here and get it back.

You need to be aware of two things, though. First, your memory of that-blog-post-that-filled-in-the-missing-piece-to-the-scene-you-were-working-on might have gotten the memory of the-one-piece-jumper-suit-you-saw-someone-wearing-and-made-you-fear-they-might-be-coming-back-in-style spilled all over it. Second, all those new memories that get poured into this bin every night fall on top of all the other memories there, pushing everything down a bit. The ones at the very bottom get pushed out that tube, and fall right out of your brain. So you don't want to wait too long to go dumpster diving, or it'll be lost forever.

Okay, so once you pull out a memory you want to keep, you need to store it. Different people have different ways of storing this information. There are shelves lining the entire perimeter of your brain that you can store stuff on. Some people put all their memories into nice, organized boxes, with labels on the front so that when they need to pull out a memory of, say, when is the correct time to use laid, lain, or lay, they can go right to the correct box and pull it out.

When some people have memories they want to save, they sometimes grab the nearest container and stick it in there. Most of the time, that's perfectly fine, too. Other people don't use containers at all-- they just stick the memories all willy-nilly on the shelves themselves, and their brains resemble a hoarder's house. AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS. Seriously, people. Using a plastic grocery bag is a million times better than just shoving the memories on the shelf.

Of course some memory containers are better than others. Take the laundry basket, for instance.

Sure, you can put lots of stuff in it, but when you're not looking, memories can slip out through those giant holes and fall right to the floor. Even the nice, neat, cardboard boxes can be an issue.

If you're not paying much attention to what's in that box, it can get water damaged. Or nibbled on by mice. Or torn. And memories can fall right out. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, rotted Trigonometry box.)

And if you don't notice that the memories have fallen out, the night crew sweeps them up and dumps them right back into here.

So make sure you label your boxes well, and keep checking on those ones that are really important! Otherwise you have to rely on being perceptive enough to know when to go dumpster diving, or those things you learned / experienced / loved might just be pushed out.


J+S said...

Love it. And you are quite the illustrator!

Jessie Humphries said...

You are friggin hilarious...and talented. I couldnt sketch that stuff if you paid me a thousand words:)

I dont have a good boxing/storage system. Need to work on that.

Talei said...

Very funny. Today, I can relate to the laundry basket brain, everything keeps falling through the holes. ;-)

Happy writing!

Kelley Lynn said...

Awesome. I'm jealous of your artistic abilities. :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

Love it! Great Illustrastions.

Mark said...

The mind is a strange place, but if mine is shaped like a pasta strainer that might explain a few things;)

Jeff King said...

Very good... thx, I'll remeber this!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Brilliant. This is one of my favorite posts that I've read today :)

Unknown said...

What a great post! I've been using the laundry basket for far too long...must change.

Lola X said...

Love the blog!!! Amazing and the illustrations are fab! How am I only just discovering your blog? Love it!

Sylar said...

nice post :P

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! This post was too cute. I loved the illustrations. :)

Shell Flower said...

I keep my memories in bird's nests on the branches of my synapses. LOL. Anyway, you had me ROFL at "the-one-piece-jumper-suit-you-saw-someone-wearing-and-made-you-fear-they-might-be-coming-back-in-style" *shudders at the thought*

Shilpa Mudiganti said...

Great illustrations! You are very talented!

Alleged Author said...

Too cute and love the illustrations. I think I am more like the colander because I keep forgetting stuff throughout the day. :P

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Ha, amusing post. I can relate to that laundry basket... that's bad, isn't it ;)

Lan said...

Fantastic pictures Peggy! So simple and yet they say so much. I think I fall into the category of the shelf full of ad hoc containers :)

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Love the drawings and love the blogpost! You really are quite clever. sigh....Jealous....

Paul Tobin said...

This is a very interesting idea, I love the graphics. I rather more boringly think we remember what we want to, take my brother for instance can't remember a thing. In your reality his memory would be a sieve, come to think of it in any reality it would be. I think mindfulness is useful in remembering, that is just concentrating on the task in hand and giving it your full attention. This cuts down the "monkey chatter" in the brain that I think stops us remembering. Anyway I digress, loved the blog.

Tara Tyler said...

love, love, love the drawings!
i wish my brain was so organized!
the only way i remember anything is to write it down. and even then i have to put reminder sticky notes for appts and events. kids turn brain to mush...
love it!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Jenifer-- Thanks!

Jessie-- SNORT! Paid you a thousand words. You're killing me! And thanks!

Talei-- Sometimes I wonder if I have an entire shelf full of laundry baskets...

Kelley-- Aww! Thanks! I'm jealous of your singing voice.

Jenny-- Thank you!

Mark-- Hahaha! And yes, it is a strange place. :)

Jeff-- Thanks!

Michael-- Awww! That makes me so happy!

Clarissa-- I've been thinking the same thing!

Lola X-- You're so sweet! Thank you!

Sylar-- Thanks! And thanks for following, too. Welcome!

Carrie-- Thank you!

Shell-- You had me at "birds nests!" I laughed out loud at the mental image of it! Hilarious!

Shilpa-- Awww! Thank you!

Alleged Author-- Thanks! And I am right there with you.

Lynda-- I think most people can relate to the laundry basket, so don't think of it as a BAD thing... Think of it as a NORMAL thing. :)

Lan-- I think I do too.

Pat-- Aw, thanks!!

Paul-- I think we remember selectively, too. But I also think that the monkey chatter (great phrase!) keeps us from remembering things we WANT to remember, too, darn it. And thanks!

Tara-- I can't believe I didn't draw a wall filled with sticky notes! [kicks self] I live off lists. It's all that brain turned to mush consequence. :)

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I need the memory that tells me which idea I put in what box.

Do you have a drawing for that?

The Write Soil

Peggy Eddleman said...

Dawn-- I totally should've drawn that!

linda said...

Wow, I LOVE your illustrations! They're awesome.