Echoes of memories

There is a sensation that passes through my heart and soul on occasion. A conscious realisation of a subconscious thought. Sometimes it’s caused by a smell or a taste; sometimes by the look of a stranger I pass on the street. Sometimes it’s the notes of a song or the words spoken by a character in a film.

It’s a memory. Only I don’t know what it is because it’s merely an echo of something I once knew. Something so far removed from today that it has become distorted from view and out of reach.

These echoed memories come out of the blue and try as I may, I can’t focus enough to know what the memory is. I am taken over by a sensation that I know this taste; I know this smell; I know this place; I know that face. And I try to scan through my mind’s extensive collection of thoughts to narrow down my memories.

Is it from my childhood? Did I see it in a film once? Is it the perfume the organist wore in church? Did my grandmother cook that for me as a child?

Sometimes I can determine that it’s a memory from school or the memory of a dear friend from long ago. Sometimes I can recall so many of the details around the memory, but I can’t find the trigger; I can’t fully hear the echo.

But sometimes, I can’t recall anything other than the existence of a past. They are only echoes of memories, telling me there was something there once but it’s gone now.

I’m not sad at these lost memories because sometimes they come back to me when the echo returns another day. But I am sad at the idea of my fondest memories one day becoming nothing more than echoes. I am sad to think that one day the things I remember with the most joy today will be the things I can’t quite recall tomorrow.

I suppose the nice thing about these echoed memories is that the process of finding one lost memory leads me down a path of discovery for so many other laughter-filled days in my past. And remembering laughter is always nice.

4 Replies to “Echoes of memories”

  1. Wow, that is so weird. I have the exact same thing happen fairly regularly. I will see or hear or smell or taste something and I will have the sensation that I have been here before. Not exactly a deja vu, but more like what you have explained so well.

    1. Yeah, I don’t quite feel that it’s deja vu. It’s just, well, not a fully-formed memory. It happens more often with smells than anything else.

  2. I believe that you will never lose your fondest memories because I think we have a “special folder” for those in the memory files. I think that, like any filing system, there is a limited space and sometimes things get purged in order to make room for newer or more important memory files! I also get what you describe and I think that usually it is because the memory comes from one of the files that are “in the back” and haven’t been opened in awhile. Unlike the “special memory folder” which is in front & gets browsed often, hence why you will not lose them 🙂

Join the conversation!