Marvels

I know this isn’t part of the trilogy I promised, and my next one won’t be either, but I will get there, I promise! I’m just busy filling out grad school applications and it’s taking a bit out of me. *grumblegrumblegrumble*

Anyway, I thought of two interesting things to share with you all today: the first is that I’ve finally gotten to watch the first two episodes of Rurouni Kenshin on Crackle.com. So far I like it! The only thing I don’t really like about it is the fact that it’s the dub–which wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t have so many name changes. I mean, from Yahiko to Yoshi? Kaoru to Kaori? Kenshin to Kenshi? Maybe I’m just missing the ‘n’ on the end of the last one, or maybe the Japanese don’t really say the ‘n’? And then shortening Shinsengumi to Shegumi? I don’t know, but it seems suspect to me. Although I think Kenshin’s dub voice suits him, whereas I’ve heard a bit of his sub voice and I could tell it was a woman. It just doesn’t seem to fit, to me.

The real thing I wanted to write about, though, is something I thought of while exercising. As I was bouncing along on the treadmill I wondered about whether all the people I had met and left behind in life remembered me. Appropriately at that moment, Boston’s “More than a Feeling” was playing on my iPod, and this verse cut into my thoughts:

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky

I was thinking, why in the world do I remember them as well as I do? That’s not to say that I remember them very well, but to think that I remember the names of the people that I knew in elementary school that I haven’t seen in years, that I remember to some extent what they were like, shows that they haven’t really totally faded away, even with the years. And then I also realized that even though I wasn’t always paying attention to the music playing on my iPod, I continued to mouth the lyrics to each song (yes, I lip-sync while I exercise. Hey, if I weren’t trying to be courteous to others, and if it wouldn’t kill me to expend so much breath, I’d probably be belting it out as I go along).

THEN–and here’s my point–I thought about how amazing it was that the human brain can retain as much information as it does. We learn people’s names, and even as we meet new people and leave others behind, we still remember the ones we met. Not as well as the people we spend time with, but still. And the fact that we can memorize so many song lyrics!

Think about it. How many songs do you know? How many songs could you sing and think of the lyrics even when there’s no music playing? How many songs do you keep learning on top of the ones you already know? And then think about all the people who not only know that many song lyrics, but the people who know how to speak more than two languages fluently. And the people who remember complicated mathematical formulas or who can do complex problems mentally. Or the people like me who recognize actors and know their names (that’s about it, though) and what they’ve acted in, and store all that useless information in my head along with the more important things. Or when people  can quote movie lines (or video game lines) back to each other.

I don’t know whether or not the human brain only uses a tiny percentage of its capacity. But what I do know is that either way, its capacity is great indeed, and if we stop to think about it, it’s quite a marvel. A marvel that makes me smile and thank God for it and for all the other amazing things He’s given us.

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