Can memories last a lifetime?

Recently, I started scrapbooking my previous US trips with LY. I printed out the photos a few weeks ago and was all hyped up to start! And today, halfway through, I realised that there could be missing photos for Boston trip because we couldn’t possibly take such few photos. I remembered that we spent a few days there and definitely had gone to places like Harvard! But where are the pictures? I thought I might have missed it out when I sent for prints, and quickly attached my portable hard disk to search for it. Hmm.. OK.. 2010.. June.. Washington DC trip.. OK Boston photos.. dinner, the trail, oyster house.. WAIT!! Where’s Harvard? I changed the view mode.. and that’s when I discovered..

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THAT’S WHEN I PANICKED!

HUH? Where are the missing 53 pictures? It’s a day’s worth of photos! What stunned me even more is, I didn’t realise that I didn’t have these photos at all! Not when LY and I browsed through our photos during our trip.. not when LY uploaded on FB during our trip.. not when I select the photos and send for printing..

I asked LY if he remembers seeing those photos before, he checked his hard disk too. Answer: Negative.
OMG, we have no traces of that particular day in Boston!

Immediately, I turned to LY and asked him, “What else did we do on that day??? Harvard? And?”
I got confused by the events that happened during the trip, like I got confused by the Harvard student tour and our walking trail tour, and the sequence of these tours and etc. We held each other glances for a while as our minds scrambled through the happenings and forced our memories to go back to a year ago.

Then, we began to piece our memories up like a puzzle..
I remembered the hot chocolate drink outside Harvard, he remembered the statue on the campus ground and how that guy is actually not Sir Harvard, how we sat in front of the Harvard library listening to the student talking about the history – how a mother donated to the library to commemorate his son’s death on the titanic when he brought books from Paris to US, a photo opportunity somewhere in Harvard as the student guide helped everyone to take their own photo against the landscape, we were embarrassed to take ours as we were free riding on the tour.. There’s the MIT on that day too, very modern-looking buildings. The school was very quiet on that day, it was probably the weekends. I mentioned shopping and he remembered we did some shopping on that day.. that’s right, it’s the newbury street. Memories started pouring back in, i remembered buying my 1st pair of ray-bans, he spotted a nice coat in a vintage store, on sale rain boots in MBMJ.. “Food! What about food?” I asked. He said that we dined at the live music cafe place which we patronised that night. I disagreed. I remembered that we only had drinks there and were sitting at the far end of the room. There were not tables near us, only chairs. I was scratching my head hard to try and recall where else could we go then LY said, “Could it be on the shopping street?” Bingo! We were dead tired from all the walking and desperately wanted a place to eat and rest our feet. We ate at this place quite near where we were shopping at, I had the ahi tuna sandwich while LY had mac n cheese. “What about breakfast? Lunch?” I recalled the bakery with the raving reviews, the morning crowd in the bakery ordering to-go sandwiches and coffee, everyone was drinking cold black coffee, he remembered we were lucky to get the free parking lot right next to the bakery, we sat al fresco and watched the people come and go, there were a lot of dog-walkers, we spoke about the perfect weather, pretty girls, cute n possibly gay guys on the streets and..

In today’s modern time and age, there are a lot of visual aids to help us capture and back up beautiful memories. Photos, videos and etc. I’m thankful by these tools that I get to remember my memories clearer. However, it makes me wonder – how much do we really absorb using our senses, or is it through the lenses? Do we become so reliant on these visual aids when it comes to capturing and remembering memories, that our internal memory actually shrinks? I came close to realising this when I was trying to recall exactly what I’ve done on that day. My mind was entirely blank for the 1st minute, and I was horrified that I couldn’t remember much. These memories probably wouldn’t be that vivid 5 years later if I haven’t blogged this down. It could also be as accurate as this account. I don’t know.

I may not remember the outfit I wore, how the guide looked like, the names of the restaurants we dined in.. Although I’ve lost a day’s worth of photos, I’m thankful that I still managed to recall most parts of it and have it jotted down. I guess at the end of the day, all these do not matter. I only need that few special snippets of memories in life, those will suffice. The people who I share those memories with, is what that counts.

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