Monday, June 1, 2015

A Fading Memory

A memory is our connection to the past. It is the inexpressible bond that ties us with who we were, and who we are now. If your life is a story, memories are the highlighted passages vital to the main plot. The genre keeps changing according to the words that you choose to highlight.

It is said that whenever you revisit an old memory, your mind alters what you felt. It can throw new light on certain aspects, and repress some others. Maybe that relationship wasn't as flawless as you had felt it to be. Maybe that guy who pissed you off wasn't as big an asshole as you thought he was.  
It transforms what we once discerned as the only way to look at things. bringing a new perspective to events that transpired in the past, and thereby changing us in the present. It can be the origin story of someone truly epic. Or the failed ambitions of a misguided human.

It can keep a friendship going by thoughts alone. Or it can make you doubt the existing ones. It can help you understand how you felt about a person even if you were oblivious and didn't realize it at the time. Fluctuating between an intense Wanderlust for the past and a kind of regret for all decisions you never made, memory shapes us in ways that are delicate and subtle and yet so definite. You can lose your sanity to one false memory, or rebuild connections that may never have existed.

The past is a foreign country and you're only a tourist there.
You cannot hope to understand the locals, just see them for how they were.

A memory does not need to be your own. It can be the form of nostalgia about things you never got to experience. Things that never were, or could be except in the one place where you can imagine them to be anything. Maybe Renaissance Paris was the buzz of the time, or the invention of gramophone was the best time in history. It can be a mess of overwhelming emotions, or an organized dissociated version of ourselves.

Most of our life is forgotten instantly. And that's what makes the moments that we remember special. Even a fading memory is something that defines who we are because it draws focus on what we think is worth remembering and what is important to us.


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