Other People’s Property

“Out of the blue someone I hadn’t heard from in two decades wrote me an email. It was a long letter mostly detailing what they had been doing in the ensuing years. Then they reminisced about the last time we saw each other way back when. I didn’t remember the event at all, but they did in detail. The gist of it was we were crossing a busy street together when a dog ran out in front of us and was hit square on by a speeding car. The impact was so great it spun the large dog round and round like a top. I had forgotten this completely and only after reading their description did I have one of those ‘Oh yeah, I remember that!’ moments.

“It led me to wonder how much else of my life have I forgotten—lost— but other people still possess because they remember. There are so many things happening to us along the way that we forgot. But someone often does remember them, as we remember things about others that they have forgotten. Isn’t it strange that events in our lives— OUR lives—belong to those others now? Unless we see or talk to these people, we will lose these things forever. Yet even without us, those events live on in the lives and minds of people we often forget or never see again. Our lives on their hard drives…”  ~Jonathan Carroll (via)

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2 thoughts on “Other People’s Property

  1. I recently had a moment where I came to this same realization. I was remembering something I’d enjoyed doing when I was young, swimming with my brother and my cousin at the Base swimming pool in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. I remembered each event so clearly. Then I noticed I only had a few days of what had been months stored in my memory. The rest were blank. What happened during all those days? Why couldn’t I remember them?

    Where do those memories disappear to? Are they simply forgotten? Or are they the stuff of our dreams – those hazy images we try to reimagine after waking from a long night’s sleep?

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  2. …a lot of your post touch me… some I take in and make a part of my own philosophical oeuvre… but reading this on this night and at this time truly has the capacity to be most memorable…

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