Oscar Wilde described memory as the diary that we all carry about with us. Aldous Huxley called it our own private literature. I think of memory as an extensive library with large wooden shelves, stacked from floor to ceiling with shadows and stories of every variety documenting the moments we have lived through and the people who lived through them with us. These stories beat inside us like a second heart resonating with fleeting glimpses of the beauty we have known.
As we make our way through this hall of tales we may reach for a story here and see a couple of lines of another there, but the sense that the times we are looking for have flown and we are grasping at shadows, lingers. I can understand what Andre Breton meant when he said, “I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams… Man… is above all the plaything of his memory.”