Tag Archives: memory

Goodbye Nostalgia

Existential accounting: A relationship formed equals a relationship lost. Just as a debit equals a credit, a gain equals a loss.

 

I must admit that I am a nostalgic despite my young age. I stay turned towards the ever fading past, a past that I search for in the present and in the future forever approaching.

In all lassitude and languor I go about daily life, the future an unwelcome presence, wishing to slow down the passing of time. Time tick tocks quiet to my pleas.

I have lived many lives and died many deaths, with the curse (or blessing?) of remembrance. Approaching each new life abroad in ecstasy, only to be drained to the depths at the eventual and eternal depart.

From these lives I have learned that memory does not only reside within, an organized bookshelf with past events readily available. Memory leaves its impressions externally, in the uncared-for roads, the decaying structures, the small insignificant stores and above all in human relationships formed by fortune. Each sensation leaves behind a fragment of the self, a fragment that links me to that which I came in contact with. Human relationships demand a greater piece, torn from a deeper place, a slab of vital flesh. Full of holes I feel a nostalgia for wholeness.

Then comes the great separation, a sudden and violent slash as all bonds are irreversibly cut. The heart remains while the body parts at great speeds, going from 100km/h by bus up to 1000km/h by airplane.

With this separation only faint impressions remain, soft suggestions that soon fade like footprints in the snow during a storm, leaving a general white blank. What happens then to the pieces of myself that I have so gratuitously given out?

So I think of the past in the present, in the future, a past that slips through my fingers like fine grains of sand. With time only a few grains will remain I suppose. With the slipping of the last grains forgetfulness is complete.

But all the grains of sand will slip through eventually, a fall as I fall with my last breath into the final death. Until then, the future always awaits, always advancing in confrontation. I do not want to rush into this future, running blindly towards forgetfulness, but I must yet challenge it bravely and with un amour absurde. The future cannot be a bleak, dark, hopeless space while so much of it remains. But as I advance I will still grip tightly onto the grains of sand remaining in my hands.

Another City

 

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The plane landed in the Incheon International Airport, but I did not feel as if I had yet arrived in a new location. I got out and took a bus to the city of Seoul. Inside the bus, there were people speaking Korean, and I soon fell asleep. I woke and I took a look outside, at the Korean lettering on the store signs. They seemed familiar but foreign. I reached my destination, got off the bus and looked at the wide structured roads full of cars which were not the alleyways of Taipei. I tried not to let my tears overflow as children walked past.

Another city with its own personality and people has gone by already. In the short five months there had been many experiences that built bonds between me and Taipei. I left pieces of myself there, in the alleyways and streets where motorcycles motored by. I left pieces of myself in the people I met as well, although I know beautiful friendships slowly disintegrate with time. I feel as I left less than whole, the price I had to pay for a life in Taiwan.

Will I continue to go leaving pieces of myself in the future like this? I still feel restless, wanting to go to new places to see new things with nice companions. I want to embrace the world and know it. At the same time, I want to return to the places where I left pieces of me, perhaps to try to collect them to make myself feel more whole. What a process this is, being fuelled by the glimmer of a future with distant locations while continually reminiscing of a golden past.

Where will the future take me? Will I find somewhere suitable to settle down? What will happen to my memories, as I lose contact of the familiar? Without the continual reinforcement of my external environment, my memories will quickly fade. Many dreams have past, leaving disappearing residues. The past disappears and leaves me without a sense of belonging.

But I’m only 22 years into my life, so maybe there is no use in thinking so much about this when I have just exited the gate. I still have long ways to go before the end of the race. Perhaps memories do not disappear, they just hide below the surface, waiting for the right occasion to come up and impart warm memories. Instead of losing pieces of myself, perhaps I give and take to create a different whole.