The Sea of Memory

There was a moment this morning when I was unexpectedly thinking of all the cats that have graced my adult years. My cats have always been precious parts of my life, although I am now without one, and over the last 25 years I have had the companionship of seven felines in various configurations. This morning memories of them swept through me – joyous ones of kittens and playfulness, and tragic ones – of deaths or illness. The recall was vivid and intense where I felt tears prick my eyes, I miss my furry friends. The whole situation was a surprise, it felt like a non sequitur in my head as nowhere in recent previous hours had my cats, or my memories of them, been referenced as far as I could tell.The beach

I was then struck by a metaphor of a tidal sea that sweeps up on to a beach. What if every memory we form, even if we can’t consciously remember it, is incorporated into this sea? I imagine I am on that beach where each time the tide comes in memories get washed up, and some come to rest half buried in wet sand. Walking up and down the beach it may be that I can encounter memories that have been dumped here by the sea completely at random. This morning I reached down and picked up the early tide’s offering without noticing that I had. By recovering the beached memories I bring them to mind, turning it over and over, looking at it from all sides.  Next, I picture myself throwing the whole lot back into the surf whereupon they sink under the rolling waves. Consequently the reminiscence then fades in my mind, and I wonder at the power of this Sea.

I wonder if it is possible to swim in it, to pick up memories that I want to follow and ones that I want to see. I also wonder if it is possible to bury some so deep in the underwater trenches (that are far deeper than mountains are high) so I don’t have to think of them ever again. This may be a potent visualisation to play with…