Have you heard of "source memory"? I guess I knew about it but I just read something about it, related to a faulty or augmented memory. You might remember a fact or something that happened to you in the past but you might not remember exactly how you knew it or where you discovered it. Was it something you read or something someone told you or something that happened that you connected with something else? You can't remember where it first came from. I guess it's not important but I think it's interesting. I keep picking up little remnants of my past, not important, but with little insights useful to me as a writer, if not to my memory store.
Okay, here's a stupid example. I never put the cap on the end of a stick pen or any kind of pen because, I remembered from more than half a century ago, the cap on the pen I was using stuck on the end and I couldn't get it off and the pen leaked. It must have been a fountain pen - where did I get a fountain pen? Anyway, the memory was embedded and I didn't realize until just recently where that bit of behaviour of mine came from. That's an internal source. What if a memory comes from another person? The source might be contaminated or layered over by other memories. Okay, so what?
So, it's a clue to the spotty memories of people with Alzheimer's or a similar dysfunction of senility. Memories come wrapped up with emotions and other people and have to be unravelled to be understood, that is, for you to understand yourself. I don't think I can ever solve the puzzle, but it's fascinating to try.
What do you remember? Where did the memory come from?