Sensory Snaps

Do you ever wish your brain had a built in camera, and that you could snap pictures by pulling your ear lobe?

I was reminded of this desire the first time I did this exercise. I realized, unwittingly, we take mental snapshots all the time. What also came to light was that our memories are a mashup of senses. What was actually a tactile memory would spur a full spectrum of sensory remembrances.

What makes this exercise so great is that not only are all the nerve impulses from that moment recorded, but the thinking brain remembers full stories surrounding that moment. One sensory memory becomes a full body recollection and then becomes a powerful writing prompt into a broader chronicle of one’s life.

When using the writing exercise of writing down mental images from childhood, I try to keep steering towards visual memories. I don’t worry too much if there are other sensory memories as they are very closely knit. Also, you’d be surprised what little humans, who are still children themselves, consider to be childhood memories.

What are your most vivid mental images from childhood?

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