Today on the golf course, something was distracting me. Once I concentrated, I realised it was the memory of a friend who has fallen ill to coronavirus and was unable to join me. This led me down a spiral of memories and I wondered what this human function is? I am pondering what is a memory and what role it plays in our lives.
Memories are realities recorded in our heads. Life’s moments are fleeting, the minute moves on to never return, but what we do in that moment stays engraved within us. Life is nothing but our mark on time. We’ve got two shadows, one made by the light, the other by our memories. The latter stays on even in the dark.
Scientifically to my humble understanding, memory is the adjustment of connections between neurons. There are two types of memories, short-term and long-term. Researchers say malleability of memories make the hippocampus capable of storing different types of evocations.
Memories are the record of our living. The actual incidents amount to nonexistence once erased from our consciousness, such is the importance of remembering and not remembering. When we are faced with the absence of a loved one, the yearning to be with them is only satisfied through recalling. When we want to relive cherished moments that have long passed, memory can oblige. Memories can make us a child once again. It has the power to take us back into grandmother’s arms or standing side by side with grandfather. Those who are no longer by our sides, sometimes relive with us in our memories. There are several kinds of memories: cheerful, sorrowful, cherishable, miserable, peaceful, scornful, sweet and sour. These can make you dissolve into laughter, and can stream your cheeks with tears. You can be sitting on your school bench and can be strolling through your university campus. You can hold the hand of your sophomore crush and can be sitting with a long face in the principal’s office.
“In the twilight of memory we should meet once more. We shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song. And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.”Khalil Gibran The Prophet
Memories can play the role of a Messiah, bringing the dead back to life. Plentiful pages of literature were blackened in remembrance of the ones with great historic importance and so were the books of history flooded with accounts of the overmen. Tournaments are held in their memorial. Memoirs are published for the legends and poems are composed for the beloved. Some memories are so painful, one prefers them abolished. In order to accomplish that, people find a safe haven in intoxication through drinking and drugs. All to forget certain times, certain things, certain people. On the other hand, some take stimulators to boost certain reflections.
As a matter of fact memory is one’s home in history. It’s a mark on time and it is the act of adding a dot in the vast void of the universe. One memory is an attempt to capture a lifetime in an album of ever expanding space. On the ferris wheel of time and memories, capturing a photograph is an attempt to steal a point in time. It’s a video recording of dwelling on earth. It’s painting a life on a canvas of thought. It’s a tome of grief and volume of pleasure. Memories can have deep supernovas, sometimes longer than the black holes and sometimes wider than the white ones.
All civilizations tried to save memories eternally. Some had built pyramids, others engraved signs on cave walls. Today’s online civilization has developed ‘the cloud’ to store all memories digitally. Many modems have been used throughout history to store memories.
In wars they commemorate the sacrificial stories of the historic warriors. They sing songs of ancestral valor to charge troops. History is nothing but a compilation of recollections. Reminiscence is a great source of knowledge. It teaches us to learn from our past experiences.
Memories have their own importance in religious affairs as well. People admirably remember the holy transcripts in full. On top of that, they learn different versions of recitations by heart.
The game of golf also requires a very sharp memory.
It’s an art of threading a needle to assemble a garland of golf rules and wear it on players’ heads to ensure a perfect shot. Here is a set of certain principles that come to my mind at the moment but I am sure a few would be missing:
- Choose proper club
- Eye on the ball
- Appropriate grip
- Required swing
- Speed of execution
- Prescribed body movements
- Complete concentration
- Mandatory weight shift
If you fail to remember one of these, you pay the price and often it is a common practice to miss a few. Keeping in mind all these rules in sequence is easier said than done.
Musicians cram songs and beats before performances. Mathematicians remember complex formulae. Chemists learn elements by heart. Attorneys prepare entire cases in their minds. Politicians memorize lengthy speeches. Language itself is a recollective use of alphabets. Memory plays a vital role in human existence and helps shape its future.
Golfer, author, blogger, entrepreneur, wanderer.