Published on: November 20, 2016
When you think about it, memory is a strange thing. When you remember something, how did you come to remember it? And when you don’t remember something, how is it you don’t remember? What singles memories out?
When you remember something you haven’t thought about for a long long time or, even, ever before, it seems somewhat as if your memory had spontaneously played the chord of that particular memory. First, the chord arose. First it played itself, then a memory waltzes back to you. You don’t seize memories, as it were. You don’t have a plan, yet a memory drops into your lap, as it were. The memory seizes you, and you say: “Ah, yes. There it is. I remember now.”
It may be a welcome memory, or it may be a memory you don’t want to remember. Why should you want it? And, if a memory should come barreling down from wherever memory comes from, why this memory in this particular moment and not another?
It is as though memories come by long chords and short chords. A short memory jogs out of your memory, and then more may pile out of that memory, one after another. It could be a hey day for memories.
When you happen to have a memory pop in on you, such as you suddenly realize you had forgotten to pay your rent, this is probably what a short chord of memory looks like. The omission dawns on you, and you gasp. Such a memory comes to you all of a sudden like a bolt out of the blue.
There are memories you try to dredge up. You try hard to remember, yet you are simply left high and dry.
There are memories you have forgotten entirely. You simply have no recollection. Someone else may remember a memory that could be called yours, yet you don’t remember this memory at all. All you can do is to draw a blank. It could be a good memory you would be thrilled to have, or one you would rather not have. In any case, you simply cannot conjure up this wayward memory. It’s lost to you.
You believe the teller of your memory. Somehow, it just isn’t a recollection in your repertoire that you can collect and bring back. You simply don’t remember that time in your life, not at all. Yet someone else remembers it.
What are memories for actually? Are totally forgotten memories like a motor that stalls and simply won’t start again? Anyway, what good is it for you to add another memory to your pile and cart it around on your backpack along with all the rest?
Certainly, there are memories that you’d better make sure you hold onto. Your name, the date, who is the President of the United States, your social security number and all that.
Naturally, you want to remember where you are, and you want to remember your way back home.
Yet, what are all the other random memories that you pursue doing here, and what are they for?
No one can remember everything. Of course not.
Yet, the random memories that pop into your head, why this random memory this moment and not another? What purpose do the memories that fly in or out of your mind serve on their own cognizance – why do they come, and why do they leave, and how do they serve you or anyone?
There are memories that keep playing their music. You don’t know how to turn these memories off. It is as if you play and play again the chords of some of the memories you remember. They seem to mean too much to you. Often the memories you keep make you sad. You might wish you could only remember happy memories.
The thing is that when it comes to memories from long ago, they may all make you sad now. It’s not a snap for a very happy memory to gladden you now. Now it becomes bitter-sweet.
You ponder the significance of memories.
You wonder how and why memories hand themselves over to you. You wonder what happens to your memories when you leave Earth. Where do your thoughts go anyway. Is there a place for lost thoughts?