On the Wretchedness of Memory

There are so many things I wish I could forget – so that I could experience them again as if for the first time: reading Kurt Vonnegut or John Steinbeck, falling for the woman I share my life with, visiting Europe, seeing dolphins and whales frolicking in the ocean, walking alone through a forest, stroking a purring cat, moving into my new home, listening to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, figuring out my iPad, watching The Addams Family, and so on. Yes, there are many sublime experiences I would like to have again for the first time (and many more mundane ones too). But some things are just etched into my memory too deeply.

It’s a wretched thing to remember because it means you can’t ever have that experience as a fresh, new one.

Perhaps it’s better that way. There is never any guarantee that I will have the same experiences again, colored with the same emotions and the same significance. Fond memories might be frustratingly permanent and the hurtful ones do fade.

And how horrifying it must be to begin losing your fondest memories when you get older, because it’s like they never happened, and you never lived.



About Sean Hampton-Cole

Fascinated by thinking & why it goes wrong➫ (Un)teacher ➫iPadologist ➫Humanist ➫Stirrer ➫Edupunk ➫Synthesist ➫Introvert ➫Blogger ➫Null Hypothesist.
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3 Responses to On the Wretchedness of Memory

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for this poetic meditation. It has sparked my thoughts this morning!

    Are those your pictures? How did you edit them?

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