Is the distance of the past determined by the one looking or by the mirror into which the one looks?  And what is that mirror, but the reflections of recollections wrought by the looker?  Those recollections that are drawn-up by the one’s present state and circumstance that would bring forth something so deeded to the past.  As with the observer’s effect on a phenomenon when it is being studied, how does a memory of the past change simply because it is being recalled?  And how are the recollections touched and remolded, but with the present’s gaze backward?  They are impure in their recollection because they are touched by the current remembrance and the state or circumstance that brought them back.  Was it the emotion of the past circumstance that brought them back, or was it the event itself…and are the recollections actually recollections of the event or of other remembrances…and those recollections that are recalled, are they pure or laced with the state and circumstances and emotions of their earlier recollections, or of the present?  Do we really “remember when…?”

4 responses

  1. Byronhj

    Someone that I was sure I knew, made contact with me on Facebook a few days ago, and I had a great chat with her, until she pointed out a flaw in a detail of something I had remembered and then related to her. Turns out, as sure as I was of who this was originally, that I was thinking of someone else, and I cant find my new friend in my memory, no matter how hard I try. I would swear I do not know this woman. She tells me things that I said, or did, thirty years ago, and honestly I think we may both be thinking of someone else the whole time. I dont really care, its nice to meet new people, again.

    I think that as much as we would like to think we remember things from the past just as they occurred we must recognize that everything which is, is NOW. It has been my experience that any memory of great detail, may be similar to what actually occured, but is never completely accurate, and the farther back it began to be traced into my brain, the further off that point it has been pushed by my mind.

    At some point, we may all come to grips with the reality that what really IS, reality, is a collection of perceptions, not accessible by any one of us.

    But then how would I know?

    Thanks, Scott, for more food for thought!

    February 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    • Poignant observation, Sir Byron…all based on perceptions…and what an unusual circumstance that you described above…thinking you were each someone else, trying to make the pieces fit, and coming away from it all with not a renewed friendship based on things of yesterday, but a new friendship made in the here and now.

      You are certainly welcome for the food for thought…and thank you, too, for adding to the question.

      February 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

  2. Often times when I am talking with an old friend they will recollect some distant memory of an experience we shared together. It’s an awkward moment when I have no recollection of their memory whatsoever, especially if it turned out to be a significant event in their life or in forging of our relationship. You ever look into a mirror that is facing another mirror? The reflection goes on into an infinite abyss. Perhaps that is where recollections retire.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:08 am

    • Yes, that would be an awkward moment, or two or three of not remembering those significant events. And what an interesting idea, too, Jason, that the recollections retire in that infinite abyss of reflected and reflecting reflections…. I wonder what else gets lost in there? Thank you, Noble Sailor.

      February 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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