Tuesday, December 9, 2008

rainy days.

I love rainy days. I love the sound, I love the smell, I love the way they make me introspective. There's just something so soothing about the random splatter of raindrops outside, and being safe indoors. It's like nature's beautiful music, only with no lyrics to distract you. Music is such a wonderful writing instrument, but it's words and melodies can sometimes lead you in a direction you were not planning on taking. With the rain, my mind is clear and unobstructed so that I can climb inside and dig around after what's really going on in there.

Today I'm thinking about memories. Obviously, we have memories to help us remember things in our lives. Things so simple as our neighbor's names, and other things sometimes as complicated as preparing our tax returns. Most of us remember our first kiss, our first car, and our wedding day. Some people remember childhood friends and adventures, and others can't remember where they put their keys. No matter the significance, the gravity, or the timelines of our memories, they are the things that help to shape us into who we become as a person. Without memories, we would never change, we would never grow, and we would never adapt to our situations or our surroundings.

However, I find myself wondering why on earth we find ourselves clinging to certain ones? Is it voluntary, or much in the same way as love, do our memories choose us?

The high school football star, you know the one. The guy who constantly reminds everyone around him how he was the big shot in high school. How he caught the winning pass in the last seconds of the championship game, bringing honor and notoriety to his team. This guy is usually in his 40's. Why is he still clinging to this memory? Is it because nothing he's ever done in his life since then has been of any value, or is it purely because he can't help it?

What about those forlorn hearts, wondering about "the one that got away?" Those men and women dreaming of what might have been, fabricating futures and families and entire lives based solely on the memory of a lost love. Their happiness is jeopardized, their souls are tortured, and any new relationships are undermined before they even begin. Do these people have regrets? Do they have nothing better to do? Or are these memories bombarding their minds against their will?

Though it seems to be a perpetual problem amongst all walks of life, I find it difficult to accept that people choose to dwell on the kinds of memories that are causing them pain. Is there some undeniable substance to those memories that refuse to allow a person to let go?

Our mind has been proven time and time again to be the most advanced thing known to man. Sometimes I wonder if there are checks and balances in place within our brains that we are totally unaware of. Maybe some sort of filters and databases so intricately orchestrated, in place and designed to create an individual experience in life that is completely unique to each person.

We may never truly know why we have the memories we have, but it seems that we should at least try to enjoy the ones we have, and make an effort to cultivate new ones every single day. Otherwise, we'll be forever transfixed in the past.

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