It always surprises me how the brain takes in things, how these things are retained, no, what surprises me most is how we don’t realize that a montage of these things is what forms the remembrances of a person in our minds.
Sometimes it feels like our mind is an entity separate from our being, we say we are over people, we have forgotten them, that they matter no more. All it takes is viewing one picture, and our mind goes on flashback slideshow mode, or flashback video mode, as though it is sardonically mocking us saying, you don’t get to tell me who to forget!
Something of this variety happened to me today.
I was scrolling through facebook, as I tend to do more often than naught, and I saw a picture of her. I clicked it, as I tend to do more often than naught, and began viewing the whole string of pictures she had just gotten tagged in.
She was strolling along the pavement in one picture, with her new best friends, laughing, the wind in her hair. She had that cup of coffee to go that she always has.
The next picture was a skype screenshot. She always loved videochat, she said she liked the way she looked on screen.
In the next photo she was eating. This was when the wind was knocked out of me because I remember how she held her plate and the look on her face as she ate her food. Why did I remember that? How did I remember that? How did I even KNOW that?
Our mind takes in things we have no idea about which I sometimes think is one of its most cruel tricks to forge dominance over us.
While I was listening to her shopping list, my mind was taking in how she held her cup of coffee, how she sipped it, how she strutted around daunting confidence and elegance, all together a vision.
While I was focused on telling her how unhealthy her relationship was, my mind was taking in the information that unlike myself, she liked being on video.
While I was wondering about her unbelievable metabolism, my mind was taking in the long arch of her neck as it gently leaned forward to take in food from a plate held so close to her face that would allow for minimal spillage.
While I thought the things I was conscious about speaking and doing were making memories, I subverted the fact that my mind was reaping its own harvest of things that would be thrown together to yield a memory that I wouldn’t ever be able to challenge, for fear that I may be left mangled in the enervating act of trying to abolish it.
I thought I remembered her in parts, but my mind remembered her as a whole.