Do you remember any particular moments from your childhood? Or perhaps there are some events from your teenage years or when you were a young adult that you recall distinctly? Tell me, what is it that you remember and how do you relive them?
Maybe it’s that one spot where you always hung out with your friends after school, and you remember what you did and talked about and how strong the bond was between you. Or that time when you took your friend on a first date to the movies. How nervous yet excited you felt. Or maybe it’s the vacations you took as a child and the music you listened to whilst traveling.
One thing I remember vividly from growing up is how my French teacher in high school tried to teach us the language he loved by making us listen to the same French chansons over and over again. To this day, whenever I hear the first notes of a Gerard Lenorman song I not only can picture my class room and fellow students but the words pour out and I start singing along. I guess my teacher succeeded in his mission…
So many memories we have kept over the years.
Can you recall how you stored your memories?
It’s probably because you’ve used your senses: your sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing.
Lately I see people around me collecting their memories by storing them into a device.
Walking around a city or park Instagramming everything and checking their likes, without noticing that guy or girl smiling at them. Recording a whole concert instead of listening closely to the music and letting it move them. People too occupied with filming their daughter or son’s every move without really being present with their child. Not seeing how happy and proud their child is and how desperately it wants to share that feeling with their mother or father. Parents missing a chance to really connect with their kids and preserving that bond for the future.
It’s not that I don’t ever take any photos or videos. I’m a keen photographer and when you check my phone you will definitely find some pictures there. But not that many. I prefer to use my senses.
Everything you store by using your senses will stay inside you. Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, you will always be able to recollect the memories from your past. Everything you store by using a device will be preserved outside you. And you will need that device to hand your memories back to you. You can’t use both at the same time. You’ll have to decide if you direct your attention outwards to your device or inwards to your senses and feelings.
It is your senses that make it possible for you to capture all the moments of your life. With their help you can store the experiences and through your bodily responses you become aware of the feelings you feel during those moments.
It’s those feelings you’d want to remember
Now picture yourself at the end of your life. You’re sitting in your comfortable chair looking out of your window with one of your grandchildren on your knee waiting to hear one of your stories. Or maybe it is a nursing home or a hospital bed where you spend the last days of your life. Perhaps you are taken ill or you’ve lost some of your eyesight or hearing. For a moment, whilst sitting or lying there, you close your eyes and you start to reminisce all the years that passed you by. And you try to remember those special moments you once treasured and you stored safely. What is it that comes to your mind?
How capable you were of holding up a phone for a very long time while staring at a 5 inch screen?
Or is it the delicious smells of your mum’s food, the melody and words from that one particular song that moved you and the person you were with, the softness of a skin you touched, the beautiful eyes into which you glanced hopefully and that looked back at you longingly, the goose bumps and shivers down your spine, or the way your belly ached when you laughed at your best friend’s jokes and you can still tell why they were so funny?
Hmm…I know what I’d want.