Saturday, September 15, 2007

Memory

So, I wrote the following at around 3:00am a few days ago, and I am not entirely sure what it means or what motivated me to write it. I am going to just cut and paste it. What do you make of it? Here goes:

Memory

That which makes us human. There is nothing quite like memory that lets you know you are alive. It is what allows us to survive. It is what holds us back from the unknown future. Descartes said "I think, therefore I am." I prefer, "I remember, therefore I am pretty sure I exist."
Truly, memory is living. Remembering the past is what governs every activity in our lives. Memory of what foods we can eat, what routine we follow, who are our friends, who are our family.
Love is an extension of memory. A mother loves her adult offspring because she remembers that child when he or she was an infant. She knows the child's experiences. She knows its memories. That is a powerful connection.
When I sit and think about my past relationships with girlfriends, with good friends, and old friends, I realize that, damn, that is my life. The thought! Ha! This is actually my life. It is governed by the people that I meet, but more importantly, how I remember them. What memories do I still have of them? I remember my first kiss. Most people do. That’s awesome. What a pivotal event, and it is etched forever in my memory. Yet, when I die, that memory will be lost. Nobody will know exactly what happened at the exact moment of my first kiss. That is kind of unsettling.
What will people remember you for? Where do you think you live in the memories of the people that surround you?
Wars are fought over memory. Some go on today because of it. Prof. Elukin, a professor of history, once said to me that he wishes that we did not always remember history. He said it would be helpful to have “historical amnesia” sometimes. Jews fighting Christians, French fighting Germans, etc. Sometimes it would help if we forgot the past.
How do we deal with that? That’s quite a weight to bear.



That's it. After re-reading it, I still don't quite know why I wrote it. But, heck, there it is!
-Matt

2 comments:

Paul said...

i like your thoughts

Mom . . . . said...

You scare me.