The Window Seat
 
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introduction
 

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?

thesis statement
 

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 manner.

I believe that we can extend experiences in our lives by interweaving past memories with present experiences.