Memories and Time

“Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail.”

“It takes time, though, for Naoko’s face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in 5 seconds all too soon needed 10, then 30, then a full minute – like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it: memory is growing ever more distant from the spot where Naoko used to stand – where my old self used to stand. And nothing but scenery, that view of the meadow in October, returns again and again to me like a symbolic scene in a film. Each time it appears, it delivers a kick to some part of my mind.”

“I realize that all I can place in the imperfect vessel of writing are imperfect memories and imperfect thoughts. the more the memories of Naoko inside me fade, the more deeply I am able to understand her. I know, too, why she asked me not to forget her. Naoko herself knew, of course. She knew that my memories of her would fade. Which is precisely why she begged me never to forget her, to remember that she had existed.” –  Murakami Karuki in Norwegian Wood

One of the great beauties of being human is the fact that we can remember, fragments if not full details, of our experiences. We have tools like words, colours, art and cameras to record them, and they become a type of key to revisit our experience.

That’s how we build houses, knowledge, and human civilisation. It’s behind our advancement of science and technology, modernity and the capital markets of up and down numbers.

We play with memories, storing them externally and internally, choosing what memories to process and what to leave behind, and that is how we live our daily life. Numbers, words and pictures—we carry all kinds of information around with us. Many of these memories are factual and dull, a necessity for being an integrated part of the society we live in.

Even time has to be comprehended in a numerical manner, to help us keep track of how much information we can process in a day.

While memories, experiences and snapshots of moments have the ability to transend time—past present and future—they don’t always do a great job of capturing the intangible. Human relationships, love and intimacy have nuances like beauty and ugliness, darkness and lightness, myth and cosmic, that struggle to be encapsulated in any form.

Time, memories, experiences, have losses its capacity in achieving something greater, unexplainable, of beauty and ugly, or darkness and lightness, of mythical and cosmic, of human relationship, love, intimacy, and those experiences that have its limitation to be encapsulated in any forms.

At some point we die, and our memories, experiences and realities turn into ash as brain matters decays, but our presence lives on in the realities of the people that we have came across in our lives. The fragments of self continue, in a different form.


flowersThe entrance of the dungeon, the darkness of the space and the things we experience as “scenes”. For some of us, these things aren’t a “paraphilia”, as the psychiatry textbooks would describe, but a human desire to create a space of timelessness and foreverness.

In the intersection of intense intimacy, violence, pain and hyper-sexuality, we find an extremity and intensity that anchors the space in our memories. We construct and build a memory bloc of experiences that is strong enough to anchor our soul in the tides of time.

We walk through the tunnel to meet each other, swinging the paints and brushes of whips and gags, or dirt and maggots, or flowers and storms.

We make order of all the disorder and contradiction, putting white on the black, writing crimson in yellow paint. When all the common sense doesn’t make any sense, all the orders have been deconstructed, the human mask of “good citizen” has been stripped and our true selves are shown—that space, of sacredness, stops time from being counted with numbers and we are forced to write a new chapter of experience that engraves itself upon us and transcends time.

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