Why is it that certain images or sounds or words or references to a particular film or book or place trigger the memory so cruelly?
Rarely does a combination of these things bring up from the depths of one's soul, from one's unconscious longing self, a happy thought or a fondness for something from days gone by. At least that's not the case for me.
Most recently, it's been names with me. Names, the same names, popping up in ironic circumstances that trigger a memory and then I'm hurt all over again. The worst part is that I can't stop it and I've thought a lot about this lately, about what it can mean if anything and I've reached the conclusion that:
my unconscious self is perhaps more awake than I am and that's why I don't recognize the moments that will matter until after they've settled into my unconscious and then worked their way back up
Then, after dwelling on this point for the past few weeks, I was struck and my greatest fears about my waking self were confirmed when I stumbled this morning upon this quote by Graham Greene from "The Heart of the Matter" :
"He couldn't tell that this was one of those occasions a man never forgets: a small cicatrice had been made on the memory, a wound that would ache whenever certain things combined - the taste of gin at mid-day, the smell of flowers under a balcony, the clang of corrugated iron, an ugly bird flopping from perch to perch."
It is possible that I've simply failed to observe what is important in my waking life, that I've spent my time focusing on work and people that don't really matter to the exclusion of any meaningful reflection on the present. But, it is also possible that I've simply been overlooked by life with no reason to observe those things in the first place. After all, what are all of those memories for, what is it about their interconnectedness that amounts to more than a blogger's rambling if there is no one there to share it all with?
Thank you Graham Greene for being just one more name from which I can't escape.