Have you ever sat in a dimly lit room, curtains drawn against the bright light of day that is trying its damndest to claw its way into the room to reveal all the secrets that may be lurking there? Then, as the golden glow of the light starts to succeed you close your eyes so that darkness may envelope your vision, help quiet your thoughts and even still your soul so that you may just sit there in the moment and try to enjoy living in that moment? Yet when you close your eyes there is no true blackness. Instead portrayed on the internal screens of the inside of your eyelids there is an image in stark grays, blacks and stunning whites. But the image is wrong, completely wrong. Not just in the absence of Gogh like colors but some strange negative image colorization that your brain decided to replace with your normal colorful vision. This image, so disturbing in nature that you quickly open your eyes to make sure what you are seeing with your eyes closed meet what is real. This type of action makes you question your sanity. Sitting in a room quickly opening your eyes after only closing them for thirty seconds. Then, you sit there and question what is real and what is not and those thoughts then drift to the details which you believe your mind is leaving out. Soon, you are down the rabbit hole of what makes up reality and what your brain perceives as reality.
Yeah, I’ve never done this either.
If I had, then I’d have to wonder why this isn’t a regular occurrence. Why our brain waits until the light is perfect, when you are trying to stay in a moment. A perfect moment. A moment you don’t want to lose. A moment that is quite perfect and all you want to do is relish in that moment so that in the future, a future where you are old, feeble and your brain has been turned into swiss cheese and there are people with large arms and even larger frowns who are standing in your room getting ready to change your fully loaded and leaking adult diaper. And since your brain has been hijacked by tricks of light and… well… itself, your memory, that joyful and blissful moment you’ve been trying so hard to etch into the marble slates inside the recesses of itself, you lose it.
You lose it like a wallet, or a watch or that one sock that never makes its way back to your sock drawer from its sojourn to the washing machine and dryer. It’s gone, not permanently, just gone enough so that when you look back upon the memory, it is not quite as perfect as you believe it should be. Or as perfect as you wanted it to be. Nope, it’s tainted not by any impurity of the moment, but by your own brain playing its crazy tricks on itself.
Where does this leave me? You? Anyone?
I have no idea. It’s life I suppose.
You see, somewhere in the vast expanses of our brains there has to be some sort of rubbish bin or recycling bin. Only in my case, it has to be a dumpster the size of Manhattan. Even at that size, it has to be overflowing into the Hudson River and all I want to do is some major dumpster diving. Root through all my forgotten moments, lost seconds, missing sights, sounds and words I’ve said.
Sure, other folks remember, but when you or I try and draw forth these moments… nothing but blackness. Which is when your brain really gets creative. See, the brain then decides to form your forgotten memories from the gleaned, over heard stories of others. When your brains finds a conflict or hole in the story, it takes the best and easiest explanation and inserts it into the canon of your life regardless of whether or not it fits. Square peg in a missing hole of your memory. Then, you move on with your life because your brain tells you to and you have no clue this actually just happened.
So, when you or I find ourselves in a moment where we are trying to hold onto a memory or thought and our brain is playing its slippery slope games with light and shadow in an attempt to distract us like an ADD teen in a video game parlor, I focus. I focus on one particular spot with my eyes wide open. Then I take in all the smells, sounds and slowly write those into my brain so I never lose them again. (Of course this may not actually work. Only time will tell.)
This is what I have to do. Only because I spend most of my time on auto-pilot. Meaning I just float through my daily life because I have to do specific things at a specified time to ensure I not only get paid but maintain my employment and thus my life. My life has become so routine that I feel at times I’m just a robot or a paid space monkey. I go through my life in a haze and my brain disengages from what it should be paying attention to in an attempt to come up with fancy games and tricks to make me feel as if I’m losing my mind. Or maybe it’s just trying to make my life a bit more interesting.
Which I guess is my brain trying to tell me to not be more interesting, more involved but to pay more attention. To live in the moments that have become basic recitations of daily activity. Hmm, maybe that is what the negative colors are trying to represent. The mundane and unsalted life I’m leading. Maybe the seasoning is really there and I have to figure out a way to suck the marrow of life from them?
What do you think they mean? How do you maintain your memories?