Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sensory Reminiscences

There's nothing I think more potent in transporting us instantly like sensory memories.  A certain smell, a certain scene, a certain song, a certain color, a certain feeling, a certain word or phrase, etc.  All these are able to instantly trigger a memory or a feelings in our minds and take us back to a connecting memory.

I'd love to say that one memory sense is more potent than another, but I'm finding that's just not true.  It depends on the measure of contact.  As a writer and working in literary field, I'm surrounded by words.  I work with words, I play with words, and I often dreams about words, so needless to say certain words, phrases, book covers, lines of prose, familiar passages of poetry are able to trigger different memories in my life at any given moment.  I've learned over the years to avoid certain types of words for that particular reason, because there's just some things you don't want to remember. 

This morning, however, it wasn't words that have transported me, but music.  I had one of the best adventures of my life last summer.  This morning my iPod was set to scramble and played songs at random and a song by MSMR came up in queue.  I was going about my business as usual when their song Hurricane started playing.  My body reacted before my mind was able to comprehend.  I froze in place, my fingers literally stopped typing, my mind jumped to a sensory memory of a particular moment standing outside an airport.  My breath caught.  My throat tightened.  I re-felt that moment of nervousness.  My stomach fluttered in anticipation.  My hands shook.  In the original moment, I had never been more excited and more afraid in my entire life.  In this moment, for just a second, I once again felt that sensation. Then, I couldn't stop the tears. 

The sad part wasn't remembering the wonderful scene, I cherish it and hope to remember it forever. What hurt was realizing how far I've retreated, how much I've stuffed a particular part of my life back into it's familiar and comfortable box. I had promised myself not to do such a thing. I've come too far to go back. I deserve to move forward.

I've set my iPod to play that album over the next few weeks, not so I can remember that beautiful summer, but to remind myself of the promises I've made, and I can once again start breaking down those damned walls. 

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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