Have you ever found yourself walking down a street with your eyes glazed with the visions of memories trailing down your unconscious attic into the realm of your conscious mind?
Then all of a sudden, without warning, that forgotten scent refreshes itself into a vivid and luscious memory. That unconsciously recorded voice plays itself clearly amidst the tangled webs that managed to temporarily bury that memory. That reminiscent experience projects itself back onto your current canvas, playing back throwbacks of events that were once just another normal day back then. Memories.
Memories. Out they come again. Just what are they? What do they want from us? Have the memories of events gone by not had their satisfaction? Have they not leeched off our confusion, our thrills, our disappointments, our joys, anger, happiness, jealousy, love, broken hearts and inspirations?
They occasionally just come knocking on our doors unexpectedly, like an uninvited visitor making an appearance at 10pm, just when you’re about to roll the blinds down and curl yourself up into bed. They expect you to stop whatever you’re doing just to listen to them; a guilty consciousness of who you’ve sadly turned out to be; or a complimentary pat on the back which smiles proudly at what you’ve become and achieved. They seem to feel like they belong to you. They are you. Or were they?
The funny thing is that they seem to enjoy entertaining us when we need them the least. For example, on a sad and confusing day, the smile of someone who used to care suddenly crops up out of nowhere, holding hands with fantasy and their four children – what might have been. Or they come about during a boring meeting or a traffic jam. Oh yeah. That’s when the real dazing and flirting with memory lane starts kicking in. You’re there. You’re not in the car, stuck behind an SUV with two kids fighting in the back seat. You’re somewhere else. You’re taken back into the past but with your present abilities and who’ve you’ve grown into. And just when you’ve numbly sunken away into that memory like a floating wine cork at sea, violently honked horns snap you out of it.
And then there are the quiet moments. Now those are really dangerous, aren’t they? They seem to be the perfect fertile soil for those memories to spurt out of nowhere sans anticipation, and seductively hypnotise you into staring at the beauty of their flowers. Their thorns are there, but what do you care? It’s your time. It’s time to go back to any argument or any passionately driven moment of love making, or that night when you found yourself alone on their doorstep realising that it really is over, or the first bout of bullying or the night you confessed your love to them.
Beautiful, aren’t they? They’re beautiful memories. They’re soothing. They’re comforting. They’re welcomed uninvited guests. They’re always welcome. They know that deep down. They have the best of us – always. And that’s what we are: a manifestation of our own memories. Every step in the sand we take might be washed away by the lick of the seashores, with no visible mark left at all. But the sand knows and remembers the heaviness and the pace of our bare feet that we imprinted on its grains. But nobody else knows. No seagull or fish knows that. Not even the sun. Only the golden sands which allow themselves to be silently washed away from the memory of our existence remember us.
And that’s the moment you start writing.