I was fortunate to be one of the speakers at 20x2 this year at SXSW Interactive. The question each of us had to answer in 2 minutes was "What Was The Last Thing You Remember?"
What was the last thing you remember?
The Act of Remembering is a half-filled promise, an open loop, the brass ring falling to the ground as the carosuel whirls by. You may remember every detail, but you cannot retrieve it or live it again. Memory gifts you every sense, except touch.
Collective Rememering, we remembering is memory you can touch visit, live with, and wrestle to understand. Momuments, cemeteries, labrynths and sidewalk graffiti all say “We were once here and through, stone, paint and time we have reconciled the past and the future in the silent present.
Remembering can be glue, a golden rope, a circle of held hands. The sharing of memory pull us tighter together than the sharing of money, place, even blood. “We have been here” is the hydrogen of history. We have been here is the same as we have shared this, how we begin any understanding of who we are.
Remembering can be curse. Hyperthemesia is a neurological disorder of not being able to forget anything. Sufferers describe it as being a loud party where every past version of yourself. And you can never go home.
Remembering can also be a mistake. Some things are best left as memories. We keep them slung lighty over our backs so we may live looking ahead.
What if the last thing you remember is that there is no last thing? If our memories stand not in a line but at an intersection, arriving, departing, lingering, then circling back again? If our pasts were a library not a well? If to forget and to remember both meant to live, richly?