What’s with the past?

Talking to cousins, much younger than me, and in general to most people and there’s this feeling that childhood and memories from the past are mostly fleeting moments they rushed past to be where they are. How useful is having a good memory where you remember most of your childhood and your brain refreshes events and memories regularly for you? What do you gain from it? Does it only tend to make you cling on to your memories and the past more strongly? Does it give you a happy place to go to?

Conversely, does having less to look back to make you look more to the future or the present? Making you a happier person?

I guess memories and the past are like possessions, baggage, that you bring along. And you do that in different forms – photo albums, cupboards, paintings from the old Raghavendra Colony house that you recognize, or plain old memories. Maybe it’s not the memories themselves but trying to cling on to and hoping that things stay the way they were that’s the trouble?

The more I meet cousins after a gap, the more I realize how much they are changing, that they are also reaching different phases in life. Once close, you only have old memories to talk about.

I guess I should learn to let go. I really should. Will make me stop looking for constants in an ever-changing world. Will prevent those disappointments that follow like caffeine crashes once you realize how much of an illusion that constancy was.

There are lines you relate to when reading random stuff and this is one from this article by Tim Kreider that’ll stay with me:

However infrequently I go there [parents’ house], it is the place on earth that feels like home to me, the place I’ll always have to go back to in case adulthood falls through. I hadn’t realized, until I was forcibly divested of it, that I’d been harboring the idea that someday, when this whole crazy adventure was over, I would at some point be nine again, sitting around the dinner table with Mom and Dad and my sister.

Oh well…

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One thought on “What’s with the past?

  1. The reason we cherish childhood memories is because a child is treated like royalty by parents and society. You don’t have to do anything, food, clothing is taken care of, no responsibilities. Folks are trying to feed you every hour and pinch your cheeks and praise you.

    That, and also because we know fully well that there will be no time machine created in our lifetime 🙂

    “when this whole crazy adventure was over, I would at some point be nine again, sitting around the dinner table with Mom and Dad and my sister.”

    Oh, don’t we all wish that! 😦

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