When you close your eyes before you sleep, can you picture your own face? Could you render a perfect image of it without looking in a mirror? I’d wager not. Memory is always fragmented or incomplete, but we often convince ourselves of its accuracy; it is the progenitor of our present.
What if you awoke tomorrow and all of your memories were gone? Erased. Stolen. Dissolved into the aether. What if you looked in the mirror and didn’t recognise a ‘self’, but saw just an image? Where would you start building a new ‘self’? Would you become the same being you are now? Collect the same memories? Unlikely. Chance played a large part in your making, as chaos swims between the cracks in all designs.
So what are memories? Foundations for the present? A drawer full of junk that may one day serve a purpose? Or simply ill-rendered facsimiles of sentimental experiences, celebrating lost moments in never-ending playback loops? The conscious, rational mind tells you that the past must inform the present, but not determine it. The tail mustn’t wag the dog.
But when you’re next at a crossroads, you will look back at the way you came and try to remember, how did I get here? How do I know which path to take?
How do I know I’m not lost?