Where do memories go

Where do memories go when they leave you? When the you I know, no longer is the you I see. Are souvenirs of life’s moments sucked up by vacuum in one fell swoop, to be sprinkled back to where they came from? Or do they float away, disappearing image by image, until it is as if they never were? Recycling back into a universe we love and fear, and mostly don’t understand.

The remembrance of the first glimpse of morning sun to strike a tent, peeking out between summer washed peaks. You, crawling, barefooted to scramble out into the newly forming day, birds replacing alarm clocks, evening mosquitoes already dissipated in the gathered warmth of the day. Your knowledge: only this moment matters. Only this moment is real. A moment shared with no one. Now. That and other memories hidden. Sucked away as if they never happened. Mostly. Except that one time – oh, pray that it comes again – when something jars it loose, spilling a recollection forth in a confusing array of almost goodness coupled with confusion. Where did it come from? Crumbs seeping back into an almost awareness of sensing cool air and anticipation of something else. Quick! Grab it before it disappears. Hold it dear. Bless it. Know that it may not come again.

Like the glistening, wet snowflakes, that once solicited you from a warm bed, to dash out on a morning dance in gray and white on a Willamette Valley winter day. To get there before they melt as if never existing to begin with. The wet flakes now land on a toddler’s lashes as she grasps the gloved hand of a different grandmother: one who can still see and hear. One who both makes and still holds memories.

Life is for the moment. We who are lucky, in who those moments return. Until they don’t. We who are not lucky, but fortunate to have others to bring those moments back to us. Patiently, we hope. Until they no longer do. When they are no longer our memories, but those circling the universe. Memories of someone else who we may have known. Or a character in a story. Or a mother, daughter, father or son. Memories are for yesterday. The bad we seem eager to have yanked from us. The good we plead to stay. To come again and comfort us among our moments of today. Yet, life is for the moment. Where do memories go when they leave us?

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