A Case of Anamnesis

Have I ever mentioned how crazy this place is for sirens, night and day?  Ambulances, firetrucks, emergency vehicles, police cars, and sea nymphs for all I know.  There was even a siren in the middle of the fireworks last night, but if something blew up or burned down I slept through the aftermath.  I imagine some siren-happy crew took care of it.  There’s also helicopters flying around now and again but they don’t have alarm bells and whistles.  Not yet, anyway.

Today Siren City is relatively quiet for a change (except for the mad magpies who can never be mute – they would explode).  And the buzz of a lawnmower.  The sun is shining, there is a warm breeze, the coffee is hot and sweet.  Normally I don’t like it so sugary, but I poured in some vanilla/toffee/caramel cream before I was completely awake, from what was supposed to be a small container of French Vanilla for a change from Hazelnut.  But wasn’t.  This is what happens when I think I’m too smart to bother reading labels.  Something weird ends up in my fridge and there’s no one around but me to blame for it.

I should go back to drinking my coffee black.  Life would be so much simpler.  And maybe I’d have a simpler time keeping focused on one topic at a time.  That was a big huge gigantic maybe.

The Wordnik word of the day is anamnestic.

  • n. (noun) The art of recollection or reminiscence.
  • (adj) Aiding the memory.

‘Anamnestic’ comes from the Greek ‘anamnesis,’ a calling to mind, remembrance.


1.  the recollection or remembrance of the past; reminiscence.
2.  Platonism . recollection of the Ideas, which the soul had known in a previous existence, especially by means of reasoning.
3.  the medical history of a patient.

4.  Immunology . a prompt immune response to a previously encountered antigen, characterized by more rapid onset and greater effectiveness of antibody and T cell reaction than during the first encounter, as after a booster shot in a previously immunized person.

Anamnesis is a condition, then, and it follows that there must be degrees of it.  The art of recollection is not a clear-cut science or a faultless method.  Memories are often less than exact.
We all suffer from anamnesis, or delight in it, putting our own spin on the past.
Sometimes something is remembered so differently by someone else that we don’t recognize it as being the same moment in time.
I remember posing for this picture after church, holding my baby sister gently by the shoulders so she wouldn’t run away, smiling for our mom, ready to take off running as soon as she said okay because my brother was holding a long thin stick in his hand and I didn’t want to feel it on the backs of my bare legs.
Maybe he would only flick it around in the air and threaten and tease, but why take chances.
What do they remember about that day?
My life had no sirens in it then, when we lived there.  I wore my hair in a pony tail.  My sweater was brilliant red.
I loved my siblings.  (Some things don’t change.)