“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all… Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it we are nothing.” ~ Luis Bunuel
Every once in a while a bubble, densely packed with memories, rises up through the murk to surprise me. Misty watercolor memories of the way we were… wait. That’s Streisand. No, it’s not like that at all.
It’s more a periscope of thoughts, musty and unvisited, breaking the turgid surface unexpectedly and splattering me with images I haven’t conjured in decades. Yeah. With all apologies to Ms. Streisand, Mr. and Mrs. Bergman and Mr. Hamlisch, it’s more like that.
Suddenly I remember faces and the names attached to them. I remember moments with intense clarity. I remember the actions that motivated me in those moments. The whys and the wherefores. The hows and how nots.
I remember them with Technicolor salience, like they somehow matter to me, now, in a time and galaxy far, far away. It’s bizarre.
Then, pop! The bubble bursts and the memories melt back into the effluvia of my mind. Things I remember so clearly today, will be fuzzy shrapnel in a few days time. In a week or so, I won’t remember even the framework of the memory, except that there was a moment in time when such things passed for reality.
It’s odd, really. My memory is more murk than bubbles, these days. A darkening sea of sludge.
When the sludge overtakes the light and the bubbles are no more, I imagine that’s what death will be like. Death of the mind. Death of the consciousness.
Neither a void, nor an obtrusion, but rather a foundation upon which other seas will someday wash, engendered by the thoughts of another.