They visit our consciousness un-invited and unexpected. They come at any time during our consciousness; sometimes even slipping silently into our sleep dreams.
Some of the memories are good—a brother’s embrace after taking on a bully in the school yard; a sister’s laugher at a brother’s constant hair grooming; a mother’s affectionate forehead kiss calming an unnecessary fear in a daughter; or a father’s rubbing a son’s forehead to let him know everything is going to be alright.
Some of the memories are bad—regret at having done something mean or stupid; sorrow at having made the wrong personal or professional choice; and shame at the failure to act when the rightness of the situation demanded action.
We’ve all had our heroism and experienced cowardice; we all have questioned our life actions, “why did I do that” or “how could I have done such a thing;” and we all have served humanity in one way or another just as we all have abused humanity in one way or another.
Memories are a reflection of the complications of life—a convoluted process we did not ask for, more often or not, the unintended consequence of an unbridled rut; a good fuck that produced a fucked up life.
From its very inception, life in any form is never intended to be easy; the most basic instinct of all life, survival, destines every life to be a struggle, from first breath to last. We fight through the worst possible diseases and the pain they produce just for one more breath of life—and perhaps it is the memories of what was that makes us struggle for just one breath of life.
The memories we share alone are mostly raw and unfiltered; the memories we share with others are filtered through the lens of self-interest. The latter memories range from minor embellishments to grandiose fabrications. Too often, and most certainly unnecessarily, it doesn’t matter one rust-colored penny what others think of us.
The question in the most philosophical sense is this: are our memories like radio signals that travel through space forever? Perhaps. Children sometimes have memories (or accurate dreams) about ancient times. How? Why? Will a stranger one day relive our memories?
We don’t know. What we do know is that memories can bring us joy and happiness or they can bring us fear like the ghost seen in the shadow of light in the dark.
We simply must understand that old memories are like old friends – they are never in recollection what they were like in real time. We shake the hand of an old friend in parting while wondering, “how in the fuck did I ever like this person.”
My advice is this: let old memories pass unfettered in your consciousness and give them nothing more than a “how ya’ doin?’ in passing. The present moment is too valuable to waste in trying to rearrange old memories.
I remember when I was a kid we use to …