Why do we have memories? Or rather, why do we need memories?
Quite recently, I found a letter I had received from someone who I had shared a wonderful relationship/learning experience with a few years back. Along with it, I found a letter that I written in return, but never had the courage to give, and a piece of paper filled with words and phrases I wrote to remember what I thought had made life so brilliant at the time.
We had an incredible falling out the year that we gave each other (or he gave me) these letters. Naturally, they were both filled with stubbornly, long-overdue apologies and, particularly in mine, a few words about the things that I loved about our friendship.
Reading the two letters of reconciliation flooded me with memories. Suddenly everything I saw reminded me of the special meanings attached to otherwise insignificant objects. The clothes I'd worn, the music we heard, the intellectual thoughts we shared - it all came back to me. I spent a good half of, maybe an entire hour reliving the two years, and I felt every emotion I'd felt before in less than a thousandth of the time.
Needless to say, it was quite overwhelming, but it was also unbelievably unnecessary. Neither he nor I are the same people we were back then, and I didn't want to temporarily and very childishly wish that things were they were several years ago. To me, time is simply a measure of change, and change cannot be undone - and Idon't want it to be undone. What a pointless exercise anyway.
Why do we have memories? They serve next to no purpose; we don't really need them. There's a reason memories have become memories, instead of the present. I honestly would rather that I didn't remember how great some of my friendships were, and how I lost them. If memories are for learning from, I'd prefer to remember the lesson and forget the experience from which it came.
Labels: experiences, human, memories, past