Being There. Do you know how that feels?
Do you know what it’s like to conjure a memory.
When I cast my mind into the past it no longer feels like a remembered event to me. It is as though I am watching myself act out the memory, as though I am being taken back there by a Guardian Angel, or a concerned Goddess, or a malevolent Ghost. Perhaps it would make more sense if I said it was like Doctor Who travelling back in time and secretly watching an earlier version of himself during some critical event.
Imagine George Bailey being shown the possible shape of Bedford Falls when it was renamed Pottersville, an invisible observer to a possible future built on a different past. That what it’s like for me now when I remember my own past.
There memories are not what it was like, they are the shape of what it was really like.
When I cast my mind back just a couple of years I see a very horrible version of my life back then. Not how it was on the surface, but how it really was, deep inside and with the interconnectedness of all things.
My memories of myself, in my apartment, (the garret), from a couple of years ago. It’s gloomy, the garret isn’t white and bright, it’s dark and dingy like a mediaeval dungeon. The walls are grey stone dripping with moisture, there are rats on the floor, one small, barred, window high up in the wall. Light is from the guttering stub of a candle. I am at a small table, writing. And, I am old, wizened, hunched-over, dark and defeated, an evil version of myself. That is not what it was like. That picture is what it was really like.
My memories of the past have become vivid metaphors where the truth is revealed.
Spooky, weird, disturbing. Insightful, valuable, true. These strange visions of the past are teaching me how to learn, how understand the interconnectedness of all things.
Respectable scientists using optogenetics have shown that memories reside in specific brain cells. A while ago I suffered a fractred skull and intracranial bleeding, so perhaps my memory cells were damaged, and I have ‘relearned’ my own past.
Whatever this strange gift is, I am glad of it, for now I see the true past for exactly what it was. And, much of it was bad.