Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Memory (Part 1)


The first thirty or so years of my adult life, I was about as serious a musician as one could be. That is to say, it’s all I ever thought about.

I played two instruments, sang, wrote music, performed jazz, R&B, rock, and pop. Gigged in all these genres while practicing and studying obsessively, always striving to be “better.” Knew hundreds, perhaps thousands of tunes.

Then, at the age of 45, I went to nursing school, eventually becoming an ER nurse at a major teaching hospital in NYC. Stopped gigging and focused on writing, producing, and recording, while also immersing myself in disease and its medical treatments, e.g. pharmaceuticals, surgical procedures, and lifestyle modifications. Once I got in the ER, it was all learning, all the time.

Now, right this moment, if you asked me the changes to “Giant steps” or “Dear Prudence,” I wouldn’t be able to instantly tell you. I’m not even sure I would eventually be able to remember them, but I suspect with a little work, I would.

So where did those memories go, or rather, where are they stored? Do we need to constantly access these memories to keep them? Clearly not, because we obviously haven’t forgotten our childhoods, have we?

Here’s what I suspect to be true: it’s all up there. Everything. You may not be aware of it, and you might not be able to call it all up at will, but it’s there just the same.

Influencing every decision you make.