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.