Memory: a poem

A poem written on 21 August 2018

The strange thing about my memory is that
some moments stand out more than others,
some memories are mere shapes and words
linked together by a single strand.

Other memories weave their way into every corner of my brain,
consuming space and time with their vividness.
In all moments of my living,
they find a way to wander through the corridors of my mind,
busying themselves and making it impossible for me to forget about them.

Vivid memories are difficult to come by,
so pushing them away is not advised.
Embrace them.

Most of my most colourful,
soul-wrenching memories
include you
in some shape or form.
You’re always there.
Peering through every window,
knocking on every door
wandering, always wandering down the corridors.
It’s you.

I could spend hours in these memories.
Flicking through them gently,
cautiously,
so as not to disturb their beauty,
the same way I flick through my mother’s old photo albums.
There’s a sort of reverence about them.
I don’t want to ruin them. I must not.

I cannot.

And sometimes,

Sometimes, when I feel down
I take the advice of Julie Andrews
and think of my favourite things,
my favourite things in the whole world.

A little escape from the moment I’m living…
And you know what I think of, don’t you?
I think of you.
It always comes back to you.

Film reel. Photo from Pinterest.

Thoughts:

I’ve thought a lot about memories. About what the really are? Sometimes I wonder if I’ve dreamt some of my memories into existence… I mean, did they really happen?

And when does a moment, an experience, an emotion even become a memory? Is everything happening presently actually a memory?

Surely every moment that passes is a present moment for only a second, fading into the past, out of existence, almost instantaneously? Would this not suggest that our memories are both past and present? They are being created every moment that we are breathing, and growing dimmer quicker than we would have thought, imagined or hoped.

Memories are so often rooted in small and trivial moments: moments we’d least expect were we to analyse them under a microscope. But as I think about my life, the things of my everyday existence, there are some memories that appear more clearly than others. Some because their existence is rooted in the immediate past, and others because they exist of their own reality and it’s like I can view them almost voyeuristically. As though my mind presents me with a window into my past, while it is simultaneously part of my present. Like I could watch a memory take place in real time, as if I exist outside of time for just a moment.

I love these moments. Moments where I can escape reality, absorb myself in something far away from here with someone far from me and relive a moment with such vivacity it’s as if I’m experiencing it for the first time, again. It’s like the most vivid dream.

It’s all happening inside my head, but why on earth should that mean it’s not real?

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