Memories of Life/Life of Memories
This is how it is for me:
I have a strange relationship with Memory. People will recount stories to me, and I will respond to them, commenting on how “it sounded” such a way. Typically, I get a confused look and then the comment “you were there.” I’ll think back and say “no, I wasn’t.” This usually results in a discussion that include additional details, times, dates, locations, other people, etc. I will shake my head. No. I do not remember it. And, for me, it doesn’t exist… just like that. Sometimes, those same memories will return to me. And, for me, it exists… just like that. The past often shifts for me. Pieces are remembered here or there, with varying degrees of vividness. Many question the validity of it, but, honestly, I think that the validity is of little consequence. Sometimes I will recall obscure details about something, but not what everyone else remembers. They may be focused on the occasion, the people, the event, but I will remember the sunset and climate, what songs were playing in the background, a story that someone told me that no one else heard (and sometimes even that person who told me it will insist they did not).
Memories also shift in regard to which “life” it is attributed. Some memories or events follow throughout “all lifespans,” non-linear or non-local. Others are defined to certain lives. In my life here, bearing this name and face, most assuredly, “I” have been in more than one life. Some people remember me from “our past.” To them, it is just that: past. To me, it is a separate life. In this way, our present or future interactions may feel strange to them, as non sequitur. I can come across as cold in this regard. For them, I am still within their linear lifespan. When they seek to touch me, I am not there. My memory of them does not vanish, but it is perceived by me in an entirely different manner. My memory of them is a past life memory. It touches me, but not in the same manner that –memories from THIS life- do. The distinction may make me sound slightly sociopathic. *shrugs*
By the same token, simply because a memory is part of another life does not mean that it cannot also be/become/shift as part of this life. I have some memories that not only “change with time,” but also that fuse in and out of “this life.”
Additionally, I can remember “our past” upon meeting someone for the first time. I have memories of them already (this phenomenon could look like a spontaneous manifestation to an outsider). This is more than a –feeling- of knowing someone “my entire life;” this is –remembering- them. The memories are clear and vivid. People have been known to argue with my memories of them, saying something to the effect of “we didn’t know each other then; I couldn’t have been there.” *shrugs* I remember it, and it’s real.
My memories seem not to be limited to “the past.” It is not rare for me to remember “the future” through dreams, visions or experimental writing. Often I remember “the present.” Likewise, all of these are subject to forgetting as well.
When people ask me if I “remember,” I often respond with “I might not be the best person to ask.” It saves the lengthy (and possibly slightly deranged) detail as well as any hurt or confusion if I were to say “it depends on if you were in this life.”
“Unknown White Male”