Day 454: My brain is like a sieve

Here’s another post, people, where I riff on something that was in my brain …


… when I woke up.


My brain is like a sieve …


… is a phrase that has been bouncing around in my mind, lately, because

When my friend wrote “my brain is like a sieve” on Facebook, she may have meant

I forget too many things

but I did NOT use the helpful skill of reality testing, so I’m not sure what she meant, exactly.

However, I do hear people in my office saying, in one way or another

I forget too many things

as they grow older (as we all do) or if they have any history of memory ailments in their families. When people express concern about their memories, sometimes they use metaphors like


(which was the first Google Image for “my brain is like a sieve). But, no matter how people express it,  I often witness worry and anxiety about forgetting.

And, worry and anxiety can make people’s brains more like sieves. I think I’ve demonstrated that, quite nicely, in several of my blog posts. I can’t tell you which ones, exactly, right now.

My brain is telling me, now, that I should turn to what Thomas Dolby means, when he says


(image found here).

Since I don’t know what Mr. Dolby was thinking when he wrote that song, the best I can do is to present his words:

My brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it knows when it’s being messed with
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.

When you said you loved me
when you told me you cared
that you would be a part of me,
that you would always be there
did you really mean to hurt me?
no, I think you only meant to tease.
But it’s hard to remember,
I lost my memory. See,

my brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it knows when it’s being messed with
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.

You ought to be ashamed of your behaviour
when you’re treating me this way
as if I had deserved to be a place to vent your ire
some day I’m gonna douse that bonfire
we make a crucial team for a dying world
and style is a word I never even heard
in your vocabulary, victim of a murder mystery

My brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it’s a place where we both could live
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.


Now I’m

  • wondering what your brain is telling you, about the meaning of those lyrics and
  • noticing my own thoughts about them.

I can’t know what you’re thinking (unless you share your interpretations in a comment), so I’ll stick to my own ideas about those lyrics, for now.

Unlike Thomas Dolby, I do NOT find it easier to forget the bad things that have happened to me (whether caused by people or other things).  No, quite the opposite.  As I’ve written about here, many times,  the bad things — the painful experiences — are the things that tend to stick.

As a matter of fact, here’s another possible title for this blog:

The Year(s) of Making My Brain The Opposite of a Sieve, Regarding the Good Things, and Making My Brain More Like a Sieve, Regarding the Painful Things

… but that’s too long, don’t you think? Even if somebody had a perfect memory — a brain with absolutely no sieve-like holes in it — that title would be very difficult to remember. And, it would be much harder to communicate, when I’m telling people about this blog.

Which reminds me of the opening I went to, last night, of the Photography Exhibit, Ravishing, which includes works by Leonard Nimoy, Bear Kirkpatrick, Alicia Savage, Jeffrey Heyne, and — last, but certainly not least — Jonathan Stark, who is my long-time friend AND my ex-partner from Koplow Stark Creative.*

Here’s a photo I snapped at that event, last night:


Left to right, that’s Alicia Savage, Jonathan, Bear Kirkpatrick, and Jeffrey Heyne. Leonard Nimoy couldn’t attend, but he may appear, via Skype from California, when Jonathan gives a talk at Gallery 555, in South Boston on April 19.  The photos, in my photo above, are by Jonathan, which he’ll be speaking about in April.

Here’s one more image I captured last night, at the photography exhibit opening:


I snapped that work, by Bear Kirkpatrick, at the same time I took my other photo: during the panel discussion with all the photographers.

My brain, right now, is reminding me of a transition I left dangling in this post, above, regarding the length of the title of this blog.


If you don’t remember, that does NOT prove that your brain is like a sieve. Not at all.

This is what I’ve left unfinished, in this blog post:  Last night, I typed, into somebody’s cell phone, the title of this blog, which took a little while, because it’s so friggin’ long already.

Here’s what happened: As Michael and I were leaving the gallery and saying goodbye to Jonathan, Jonathan introduced us to Bernard Murphy.  Bernard  immediately noticed my Chakra Bracelet:


(which has appeared previously in this blog, here).

In response to Bernard’s compliment, I said, “That’s a bracelet I purchased from another blogger.” I then declared, with some pride, “I’m a blogger!”

And Bernard said, “I’m a blogger, too!”

Guess where Bernard blogs?

Here’s the link to Bernard’s blog:

I just visited there, and it looks like Bernard and I have some things in common.

I wonder if Bernard posts goofy photos, like me?


Thanks to Wikipedia (for the photos and entries for “brain” and “sieve”), to my friends (on Facebook and elsewhere), to Thomas Dolby, to Jonathan and the other wonderful photographers I saw last night, to Bernard and the other WordPress bloggers I’ve been honored to meet (including Irene, who made the Chakra bracelet), to those who express their fears and other feelings as best they can, and to people whose brains are like sieves or like anything else. And — of course! — thanks to you, for visiting my brain, today.

* Koplow Stark Creative was an advertising/marketing company that Jonathan and I co-founded and ran in the 1980s and 1990s. We did some great work together, if I do say so myself (and if my brain is not a sieve).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Day 454: My brain is like a sieve

  1. Your Koplow Stark Creative reveal explains many things about the way you work. Your brain, that is, as you wizardly, whimsically and wisely conjure up a post a day for more than a year now, Ann. That is not what I came here to say, but … no, I did not forget after all. Thank you for leading us down such interesting paths of thought and expression.

  2. Interesting post . I think you are right its hard to forget extremely bad experiences and memories they keep coming back but so is the case with extremely happy moments . The memories that lie between these extreme points are the ones that we normally forget .

  3. Is my brain like a sieve? I’ll let you know right after I, uh, remember my password for posting …

  4. I’ve started to notice that my brain does have a kind of filter. It filters out things that people do that are unkind or mean. The way that the filter works – and it’s totally accidental — is that when someone does something staggeringly horrible (which doesn’t happen very often) I try to understand why they did it. Usually I find out that they were hurting or insecure or just exploded all over everything due to some other stress, and then I feel closer to them or at least not angry with them. I forget (often, completely) the thing that they did or at least the details that hurt. This is not deliberate forgiving, it’s more of a brain glip that turns adversaries into kindred spirits, and so it’s humbling.

    I have not figured out how to apply this filter to the things that I do myself.

  5. My memory is not too good either, but I work at that one every day. A great post Ann and thank you for bringing up your chakra bracelet in here again.

  6. Pingback: Day 455: Guess | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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