The persistence of memory
Many of my earliest memories of childhood are populated with imagery consisting of long lazy weekends tagging along with my parents as they ran errands or of visiting and or being visited by relatives and friends. That’s not to say these events happened often but rather they seemed significant enough to form a lasting picture in the landscape of my thoughts. Though this set of memories is fixed as my history, I can’t help but think logically that it may merely be an artifact.
Examining my past with dispassionate clarity I find I have done a good deal of editing. Edited from these memories are the long lonely days affixed before the Sears Silver tone television, and the cruel sibling rivalries that often linger into adulthood. It would not however be fitting to include these for they don’t truly define how we felt or what we aspired to be; rather these memories are hollow and lacking of the emotional wherewithal to stand the rigors time.
In contrast, through the lens of time those memories that are most prominently imprinted are the sweetest. Like the subtle flavors in wine they are condensed from a few years of ordinary experience into a vintage akin to a golden age.
The experience of the lonely and desperate hours of today will likely undergo the same editing process. This will ensure that any future retrospective will primarily reflect those images that speak of the finer moments. It’s unlikely I will recall in a future time any emotional laden memories associated with my daily train ride to and from my office. The images of my lonely journey through the wastelands of Philadelphia will surely fade to a solitary factoid, as will the memories of those embarrassing episodes of drunkenness. So this will not be a modern discourse on dysfunction or self loathing, but rather about the bricks and mortar of self-identity. For we truly the are the sum of our experience.