Piled Records

She gasped with tension as she entered the foggy forest, lightly pouring crumbs behind her every step.

The nature of life is that it pulls us in, as if caught in a hypnotic snare from which our memory is lit to a lightly kindled flame of awareness. Our memory of the past is stored away like piled records in an abandoned library, archived away with no attendant to care for the materials. Men were never taught to value their past in a fashion which it rightly deserves. Instead, by the seductive mirage of all that endlessly appears in the midst of a hyperactive culture, they venture into fanciful dreams of what they may become in the future. The past can be contorted and distorted, buried and ignored, but its influence and impact, and the treasures of insight it holds — however dormant — still remains.

We are highly selective to what we wish to remember and cherish as fond memories to behold. There are a great many incidences, awkward and unattractive to our preferred picture of ourselves, which we tuck away and hope to one day utterly forget. Mistakes, blunders and troubles which had us quite unamused at the time, we believe may simply disappear and never resurface again. We are convinced that change is always around the corner and that the quality of our actions will improve with the kind passage of time. Yet these are all presumptions bearing no wisdom other than a blind plea to the gods high above, begging in secret that lady luck will eventually look on us favourably.

Our past is all stored away, all remembered somewhere in the nooks and crannies of our sight, emotions and senses. It is all there, much of it quite similar to the nature of an undeveloped film reel. Consider what must be done to develop the latter and you might just stumble on some interesting ideas on how one’s own memory can be revived to life in turn. For there is a need for impartiality towards all of this, a point of view which forgoes our indulgence in petty self-judgment and the utterly worthless emotions of shame and guilt which, left to do their work unchecked, will cause the same patterns of behaviour to fester and soon reap the same results again.

A child will make mistakes and fall upon errors, like that of a poor grade on a test at school. One child will forgo studying his errors thoroughly and rush to go out and play instead, forgetting all about it. Another might just muster the necessary discipline to review attentively what his failings were and struggle to correct them so that he may not stumble upon the same mistakes again. However obvious this may sound, the jewels lie with one’s commitment to direct a higher dose of attention not only on those noteworthy errors in the past we wish to forget, but also the trivial and seemingly trite moments where nothing spectacular or extraordinary has come about. The closer one looks, the warmer the steps, and sooner or later a man will find that his attention has caught up to the present!

What is memory but a trail and echo of where we once were through the passage of time? Look upon the seconds, minutes, hours and their higher compositions of days, weeks, months and years. Our memory is the wake we leave through the waters of this experience and live on eternally as fingerprints which will never disappear. Someone must remember all of it and the only reason it needs remembering is because an ordinary and typical man isn’t even conscious of the present. The past becomes a chore to recall, for it is often left as untidy as a rock-n-roll-loving teenager’s bedroom. Everything has been thrown around and about, and the utility of what is buried beneath all the rubbish is itching to one day be rediscovered.


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