The earliest memory I have is in a hospital elevator in New Brunswick. My parents were speaking to a doctor and he stated that my dad’s mother was going to die. At the time I was three years old and I remember thinking, “Die? We die? I thought we lived forever.” I recall that moment now and I think I was on to something.
Lobsang Rampa, a Tibetan Lama, has claimed that the only things we carry with us from this life are our imagination and our memories. The two aren’t that far apart. How we choose to remember the events in our lives shapes our perspective of the world. What we remember isn’t strictly factual – it’s coloured by our perspective. It’s a strange loop that we enact over and over throughout our time here. How we view our past tends to project itself into our future.
Not to say it’s wrong or that we’re all caught in a rut, although it may feel like that at times. We can use our imagination to change our perspective, and thus, how we view our lives. It may seem like we’ve suffered great injustices and wounds in our time but those moments are part of a bigger picture that brought us here and now where we can choose how we allow ourselves to think and feel and what we put out into the world.
If all we carry past this life is our memories and imagination, wouldn’t it be wonderful to fill our memories and imagination with all the positive energy that we can muster? I’m not saying it’s as easy as a snap of the fingers but I believe it’s something to consciously work toward. If we carry around memories through our lives anyway shouldn’t they work in our favour? I’m not a positive Pollyanna and I’ve had my share of troubles, but I’ve concluded that my life has brought me here and I can be happy here or not, as I choose. If I can’t be happy here and now I don’t know if I can be happy anywhere, because this is truly all that I have.
So, I look back at that toddler who thought that we lived forever and I wonder at her wisdom. I wonder if she knew something I’ve since forgotten. Did she let the authority of adults change her mind? How has her life been coloured since? I move forward and remember that moment and try to understand the deep wisdom held within myself and know that this will all be memory too one day.
Keri lives and makes memories in Boyle Street.