The teeth of knitted gears turns slowly through the night

15 01 2007

Recently I’ve come up with a theory on the brain, or maybe a metaphor.  The brain is like a giant Rube Goldberg Device that at its end cranks a gumball machine that dispenses a memory.  You see, something happens that triggers the machine.  As the machine works in the background your brain moves on to other things.  Then later, all of a sudden, the memory is dispensed and pops up into the foreground. 

 The metaphor is, perhaps, a bit strained.  It could be the type of gumball machine that has a marble roller-coaster before the treat is delivered.  Or it could be one of the tall ones that send the gumball down a long spiral.  The point of the Rube Goldberg Device is the delay between and the stimulus and the response.  And the reason I am calling it a gumball machine at the end is that the memories can seem rather random.

 I thought this up after reading through my high school yearbook for the first time in a long time.  Some memories were rather instantaneous.  Faces long forgotten were suddenly before me and the corresponding details came immediately to light.  However, in the background, the device had been triggered.  Later at work the following day, memories kept plunking down from the gumball machine.  Some memories were fresher and cleaner and others required some dusting off.  I guess high school is now far enough in my past that many of its memories are deeply buried in the old filing cabinets in an abandoned part of the memory warehouse.  It was actually rather enjoyable to be nostalgic about high school.  Someday, another 13 years from now something may trigger the device and this memory will come spilling out of the gumball machine.