Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was actually able to do a little thinking between calls at work. I ruminated over things ranging from a fresh update to my political blog (not done yet, but coming soon, not that anyone has ever read it), to what I was considering doing this weekend. I was considering whether or not to make the trek up to Salt Lake to attend my great aunt's funeral (it was this morning and I opted out due to being too emotionally worn out for a funeral), when I started thinking back on trips we had made to her house on Christmas when I was a kid. We used to go, in part, because my grandmother did not drive and she wanted to see her sister at Christmas. Then I started thinking about the past and about time and how fleeting it all is. For some reason it really struck me the fact that the only way I have to prove that any of those things ever happened is that I remember them. Once the moment is gone, it is irretrievably gone except for what we remember, and that is different for everyone who experienced the moment.
I think back on some of my earliest memories, and sometimes they do not feel real. I know that these things happened to me because I remember them happening, and still they feel somehow not a part of me. It was somewhat disconcerting thinking about this in between calls. I started recalling times where I have felt like I was in some strange dream and that I would wake up at any moment to find that everything that had happened in the last week, month, year, decade was, in fact, just a dream.
And then there are the photos I recently found of a camping trip with my ex and our kids. The photos are real. They captured some of these moments lost to the past, and yet I have no memory of that trip. I cannot explain it. I look at the photos and I try so hard to recall where we were, what the occasion was, any detail at all, and it is as if the whole thing has been erased from my memory. I know I was there; I took the photos, but I could not tell you where 'there' was if my life depended on it.
So the past simply disappears, but it is as if my brain is trying to think beyond this linear concept called time. It is sometimes as if my brain is saying, 'Look, I know that there is more to this, but something is in there keeping me from unlocking the part that will help me comprehend in something other than a linear way.' I am sure that this is probably starting to sound rather whacked out (who knows, maybe a screw or two is finally coming loose), but the whole experience yesterday was really rather odd. I found myself wondering if, somehow, our past moments still exist and we could revisit them if only we could find a way to them. Right now, memory is the only way, and memories can be strange, elusive things. It was a weird afternoon.
Clear as mud? I thought so. At least I will have this as proof that tonight existed at some point. Unless this is all some weird dream. (OK, I'll stop now.)