Monday, May 21, 2012

A Pretty Picture and Musings

BBBH and I are off this week doing stuff.  We hope it will be sufficiently memorable to warrant reports here.  Meanwhile, I have raided the archives from three or four years ago.  This is reworked for a re-post.

Memory and History

We know that nostalgia is an unreasonable yearning for something in the past, something that cannot be. But what we don't often think about is that everything is past. What we recall, we may hold so long as we can remember. What we record is history.

Imagine a movie being played reel-to-reel. (We have to go retrotech here for the imagery.) The top reel is the future, the lower reel, the past. As the film flicks by the lens the present is revealed, in this case 1/24th of a second for each frame. But the present can actually be defined by infinitely smaller units: nanoseconds. Nay, even less for instantly the "present" is the past. We cannot see the future. We may anticipate it, contemplate it, fantasize about it or even plan for it. But we cannot live it. Only the briefest of instants compose our present experience.

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. But we may remember it, recall it, relate it, thereby relegating yet more of our "present" to the past. What is your life without memory?

For all that philosophers and physicists may expound on this "time" we have, it is just as simple as we have limned it herein and just as complex as our memories allow.

Are you making any memories? Are you making history?

Is your hand in the hand of the Eternal Guide?


Shelly said...

The only way to have peace with the past, joy in the present and confidence with whatever the future may hold is to have your hand in the hand of the Eternal Guide.

Lin said...

Memories are great...if you can remember them! ;)

Chuck said...

Deep thoughts for a sleepy old man (me) who is only working on his second half-cup of coffee of this gloomy morning. Memory, like nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Sharkbytes said...

I'm trying sincerely to make great memories!

Vee said...

I try to savor each moment so that the special times are imprinted in my mind. Sometimes I'm distressed when I share an experience with someone and their memory of the happening is totally different from mine. That makes me think my ability to remember is declining.

Things I would rather forget are often the things that taught me lasting lessons, so maybe those memories should also be cherished.

vanilla said...

Shelly, very well said!

Lin, aye, there's the rub.

Chuck, memory is probably not what it used to be, and the memories probably aren't either.

Shark, you are doing very well at that task!

Vee, I encounter a lot of that "shared experience, different recall" thing. Frustrating. I try to chalk it up to perspective, not loss of memory.