Isn’t it funny how people play such a huge role in your life, even when they aren’t around anymore. This could be your brother, father, girlfriend, boss, nurse, whoever. Whoever they are, if they have played a significant role in your life, you will remember them forever. You will not think of them all the time, but there are things in your life that will remind you from time to time. All the senses play a role, but it’s the smaller ways they affect you that have the most effect. They trigger a memory that pulls those past memories to present day. Sometimes, they’re as vivid as HD TV, or other times, they so distant, they only cause Deja Vu.
Sight is an amazing gift. Those who have it, never realise what a gift it really is. Those that long for it will never see the magical things we do. I am fortunate to still have my vision, albeit not perfect. Visual triggers are the easiest and most common to remind you of something. It might be a a photograph you have up that you refuse to take down, or a letter from her, written years ago, that you stumble across by accident. Those words strung together to tell you of things from what seems a lifetime ago. The beautiful mountain in Cape Town is a monument of memory for people. It’s where they’ve grown up, or gone to study, or gone to live, but it’s the first thing they miss about this possessing city.
Hearing is simple. We have it on when we wake up, and it tunes down while we sleep. I miss the sound of crickets and birds. You don’t really hear the vast array of wild life living in the suburbs of Cape Town. I miss the sounds of thunder bringing in heavy rain. I miss the sound of that heavy rain. But as soon as there’s a storm, that sound of the rain smashing into the ground is hypnotising because it is so familiar. More to the point, music plays a large note in this. It plays such a huge role in our lives. Close your eyes, and listen to the symphony, as it draws a story in your mind that only you can understand. Years after an incident, a song will play and take you right back to that place, whether is good or bad. You can be in the happiest mood, but let an old love song play, that signified everything that you and the ex were, and your world comes crashing right down in an instant. (Stressing the point: Don’t let it play!)
To be able to feel is strange. All those thousands of nerve endings, all over your body, communicating with your brain to tell you if it feels good or not. You know not to touch a hot stove, because if you do, it will burn the shit out of your hand. But you also know to hold hands, because that makes you feel things you didn’t know you could. It’s strange. You can touch a million hands, but there might be only one that makes you feel while you feel. Or, it might be someone else doing the touching that let’s your skin feel. Your eyes closed as he kisses your neck, or her soft hands on your chest as you kiss her. The right touch may be hard to find, but once you have it, it is easy to recreate.
Your tongue has more use than just providing pleasure. There are 4 or so different parts of the tongue that cause you to taste different things. You might like the bitter best, or perhaps sweet is your personal clichÃ©, whatever it is, this is probably the least significant memory trigger of all. Many smokers lose a large chunk of their sense of taste. When my father quit smoking, he couldn’t believe how good food tasted. Close your eyes and let her feed you delicacies, of food and the body, and they will be more telling than you know. You know what you like, and you know how to get that taste, keeping it is always hard.
Smell is amazing. I love smells. Smells are so significant; you can place them every time. I love being able to identify a rose or a roast. Smell is my personal favourite. A girl can walk passed me, but it’s her scent that will captivate me more than anything else about her. For those of you that know, rain on dry sand, or a hot road, is one of the best smells your will ever experience. The ocean in a small town along the coast has such a significant smell that always reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother’s house has a smell it’s always had. It’s certainly not “old-women” and it is my favourite smell. Nothing will ever compare to it. I remember getting mail from her, and the paper smelling like her home. It is still my most favourite place in the whole wide world to be. Every now and then, something will be very similar and I take it in for that instant, before it’s gone again. That is the problem with smell, you can’t recreate is, and to an even wose extent, you can’t really preserve it either. (I really suggest you go see a film called “Perfume” that was out a couple of years ago. Very arty, but amazing.)
Now, I have added my own sense here. For anyone that is, or has ever been in love will know that you can not describe it in any rational and logical way. Like the other senses, which you can’t really describe, you simply know. It makes you do things that you think are perfectly fine and normal, but anyone else looking in on it will see you as mad. Love is the one sense that all the others combine to help create, and the one that will be most affected by the others when it is no longer in one piece.
The senses/memory combination is amazing and special and confusing and magical all at the same time. Sometimes, more often than not, we take them for granted. I’ve recently put up hundreds of photographs from all parts of my life to let me keep remembering. There are current music playlists that have all the new songs of the moment, but always include older memories to help me reminisce. Don’t lose track of your valuable memories, and preserve your senses while you still have them. They are all so equally important to keep a tribute to your life. Let your senses remember all those people I mentioned before, and let them remind you that they made you who you are today.