Memories have served as
the inspiration for many writers, be they sweet memories
of the beloved (William Shakespeare: Sonnet #130 My mistress'
eyes are nothing like the sun) or haunting memories surrendered
to tempestuous love (Lord Byron: Remember Thee! Remember
Thee!). I have always been a person who tends to look back
and indulge herself in memories, rather than looking to
the future. My memories of certain incidents, places, or
feelings are also easily triggered. Sometimes a gentle breeze
can bring me back to the past simply because the way it
brushes through my hair is the same as once before. Memories
are precious because after all is gone, they seem to be
the only thing that preserves the sudden touches of heart.
They are the only evidence of "I've been here";
they are the only proof of existence! Memories interest
me also because however precious and dear they are to me,
they don't belong to me forever. For me, memories seem to
be hibernating most of the time and are waiting to be triggered.
If they haven't been awakened for a long time, they might
fall into a deeper sleep and eventually be buried at the
bottom of my heart to be forgotten forever.
If we think of life as
a one-way street, memories can be viewed as the turns and
branching paths along the way. While life goes on in one
direction to the unknown, memories can bring us back to
where we were, or what we're familiar with. We can only
experience life once, but with memories, we can relive moments
of life again and again. Every now and then we stray from
the main road of life and take the detours to the past.
Following our memories, we are able to re-experience those
ephemeral and precious moments of our past lives. However,
will they create the same experience that we first encountered?
I believe that recollecting
memories is similar to the process of reading and writing.
When we read or when we are reminded of certain memories,
we gather pieces of information; when we write or when we
express something from our memories, we have to organize
the ideas so we can communicate them clearly. It is also
a process of recollecting the "past" with the
"present" having an effect on it. Therefore, we
won't have the same memories we had before every time they're
recalled. Even though memories seem to be the only evidence
of certain precious moments in our lives, they themselves
are actually ephemeral and ever-changing.
As I have mentioned before,
memories lead to the "past". But the "past"
in our minds is not really what happened, but rather what
we choose to remember and to represent as "the past".
It is already an altered version of "the truth"
when it first impresses itself on our minds. And as it is
recalled each time, it is affected by our experiences, moods
and feelings and becomes even more altered. I believe that
recollecting memories is the process of reconstructing the
past and creating a new experience at the same time. By
recollecting memories, we can extend the precious moments
of our lives. They won't be the same as we remembered previously,
but they will be remembered in a transforming and evolving
I believe that we can extend
experiences in our lives by interweaving past memories with