The Lie

I heard once that the more you think about a memory, the more your mind warps it. You think about a memory over and over again, and each time you remember it less accurately.

So that eventually, over time, it becomes not your memory at all, but something that your brain made up. Maybe you wanted it to go a certain way that it didn’t and so you twist the story in your favor. Or maybe you’re just remembering it wrong.

On the other hand, the memories that you never think about are never remembered; they’re really not your memories at all.

By this logic, does this mean that all your favorite memories might not be your memories? Your favorite memories are obviously the ones you think about again and again; you think them over in your mind, you tell them to your friends.

So does that mean that the memories we want to forget, the ones we push out of our mind and have no desire to remember ever again, are the ones that stay intact? They sit there waiting for us in the back of our minds, perfectly clear and ready to be remembered?

It’s kind of a scary thought. It’s like we have a collection of ghosts in our minds, ready at any moment to help us relive the most painful things that we live every day to try to forget. At any moment, you could reach in and grab one of those memories and relive in perfect detail the things that you never wanted to.

The things that we want to remember, we never really can. And the things that we don’t want to remember will always be there in the back of our minds, perfectly intact.

Or does this theory mean that the most intact memories aren’t the ones we pushed away because they’re too painful, but the unimportant ones we merely forgot about?

So we, as humans, can remember perfectly every insignificant moment in our lives? And the moments we felt shaped us the most, the ones we hold dear to us, are a lie?


*’The Lie’ is an excerpt from ‘A Walking Shadow’ – a multimedia theater piece written and created by Catherine Santino and Dylan Lukowski. 

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