ABSTRACTION AND A MNEMONIC TRICK


It has been ten years since our ‘double’ lives of India/America began. I want to describe my dual-life of US/India but when I am tired and jet lagged, it is very hard for me to focus on my delight –detail — and feel inclined towards abstractions, a general description of the geography of my soul. I think it is a natural tendency in tired moments and in aging to move towards greater abstraction, the kind that is the source from which we are born into so much concrete specificity. It why the brain tends to forget to pay attention to the essential details in the business of  living, and I misplace things and spend hours trying to find them. I have come up with a method that works for me.
When I put something somewhere consciously (this is the hard part! Generally we do things blindly, unconsciously) I do a mental repeat, and say to myself, remember, you have put this here. And whenever I do this, I have no problem locating things. I have also taken to making, in addition to mental notes, lists of where I put essential items like keys, sim cards, etc before I leave one life for the other. In the six months away from one life, I happily forget everything about it. It is only when I return to it that the things that were of no importance whatsoever, suddenly assume an alarming relevance. 
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