Friday, June 19, 2009


I don't normally watch horror movies. I get scared enough on my own without having to watch someone else's imagination go wild. Disney movies upset me enough.

But tonight Josiah and I sat and watched the movie "1408" on television with John Cusack.

(I mean, John Cusack was in the movie, not sitting with us and watching it. Although that would have been cool, wouldn't it?)

The plot was a terrifying concept from a story by Stephen King - an evil presence in a particular hotel room that would force you to re-live over and over your worst memories. Until you were ready to accept death as an escape.

Which reinforces something that I need to hear again... and again... and again.

Our memories are strengthened the more we feed them.

If I concentrate on that summer in 1966 camping with my sister's family up at Lake Naciomento (that really is the lake's name), I can focus on the positive aspects - swimming, reading, campfires and marshmallows in the evening - that's feeding that memory.

Or I can target on failing miserably (and repeatedly) at learning to water-ski, hiding out on my own from my nieces, sunburns, and drinking beer (which I hate - still do) - and that's feeding that memory.

Stephen King may argue with me (I mean, he wrote the original story, right?), but I think the reason the room 1408 had such power was because these particular horrible, atrocious images had been replayed and replayed over and over until they were ingrained, entrenched, if you will, like a groove in a record.

So the needle heads automatically straight to them.

But if we focus on our positive, pleasant, uplifting memories, then those are the ones that have more power.

What do you think?


Lisa said...

One of my favorite lines in a book is from "A Prayer for Owen Meany". It says:

"Your memory is a monster. You think you have a memory, but it has you!"

So true. You would love that book, Hope!