I read an article awhile back which said that when you remember something you’re not actually remembering the event itself but remembering the last time you remembered it. Thus your stories and memories change over time with tiny details adjusting to fit holes in your last memory.
For some reason this concept really struck me and has stuck with me since. And in a way I think this is quite sad, or it’s the events that we remember which we hold dear, not necessarily our memories of them, right? To me it made my memories of these things seem less real in a way, less tangible and further away.
Perhaps some of this has to do with leaving Tokyo and some of the changes that have been taking place in our lives recently. I knew leaving Tokyo that the city would stop feeling like mine, like I belonged to it and it to me – this is how it has been for every place I have moved from. I knew also that what would make the transition easier was my memories of the things we’ve done there and friends we’ve made etc.. But now, knowing that my memory of these things is simply a memory of a memory they feel further away and harder to reach. I keep wondering how long I’ll remember them as they were before my mind taints them with time and details are further lost. This is true for people as well. Of course for almost all events the people are what add depth and character, they’re the life of the still behind them in any background and likely are really what we reach for when we remember a time.
On the flip side it does make me cherish experiences and try to focus onto them in the moment even more. Drinking in details, smiling for pictures, and trying to stay conscious in the experience so that when it’s over perhaps you remember more or for longer. But maybe the lesson is simply the age-old – live in the now sentiment – don’t rely on memories for entertainment, but busy yourself making plenty instead.