It’s one of my favorite times of day. I love when the sun is setting and the shadows are long, and the stars begin to come out and twinkle. The air cools and time seems to slow. Sometimes I think that’s where memories live.
The LOML and I were talking about memories earlier, and how there are times when it seems we can’t be sure of our own memories. Sometimes things seem hazy, sometimes there are little bits of things that surface, like those first stars at twilight. I’ve always been afraid of Alzheimer’s because to lose one’s memory – that’s sort of like losing yourself. I cling to my memories, certain of their validity as though there were etched in stone. I know this happened, I know that occured – why? Because I remember and that’s good enough for me.
And yet, sometimes I question other people’s memories. So unfair! Talk about double standard! So I won’t do that anymore. I know what it’s like to always be accused of a false memory, to always have to defend what you recall, what you said, what you did, what you felt, what you thought.
For some people though, memory isn’t as important, at least not for certain events. For them perhaps the emotion is more validating – like not remembering what toys they got on a particular birthday but recalling the feeling of happiness, or the people they shared it with. Many times we cling to things to remind us of people or places, times in our life, as though the memory were connected to that thing and not already residing in our brains somewhere in the twilight. To lose those things feels like losing parts of ourselves, our memories.
Our memories make us who we are … or do they? Do bad memories make us bad people? Does recalling our own less than stellar behavior make us bad? Does remembering something good we did make us good? Are we really the sum total of our parts, or are we much more than that? You don’t know any of my memories, you only know what I allow you to see, and you make an assessment of me based on what little I tell you – without any of my own memories to guide you. So I no longer think it’s our memories that make us or define us. Not to say that past events haven’t shaped us in major ways because we all know that’s true. But we’re beyond that, more than that, like the starshine that twinkles down on us at twilight. There is more to us than meets the eye. There is the more that meets the heart.