By Ramya Mathur
Photograph by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash.
Our hands have held many things in our lifetimes. Pencils. Food. Each other. Babies.
Can it hold onto memories? Can we squeeze them back into our brain?
When old age comes, when memories start to fade, can we find a way to make sure we hold on to our most precious memories?
What if it isn’t old age but something else? What if your brain refuses to cooperate? What if your brain is like a sieve? It holds onto the ‘big’ memories but lets go of the smaller ones.
Almost like it has a mind of its own. Almost like it remembers things it wants to but forgets everything else.
It remembers the day your child was born. It remembers what jasmine smells like. It remembers that two weeks ago, you passed the same homeless man on the street and he smiled at you.
But it forgets simple math. It forgets train numbers. It forgets cross streets and building numbers.
It remembers how the back of your husband’s hands feel like. How the sound of your child’s laughter still brightens your day.
It forgets how much sugar he likes in his tea. It forgets how many more stops to go on the train. It forgets which exit to take to your father’s house. It forgets the year you bought your car.
Memories are tricky like that. How do you keep them safe?
Can we house them in crystal balls? Can I take pictures of my memories and stick them in books to look at when I feel like I have forgotten? I wish I could.
I would rather house memories in my mind where they should reside, rather than anywhere else. But maybe that’s too much to ask of my body at this point. Maybe it’s better to accept things I cannot change and work on preserving memories I currently can access.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop worrying about what I cannot control and start making new memories. And hopefully these, I remember to capture on film.
This way, at least for the future, I’m covered.