Books

06 November 2012

It is interesting how, at times, just one event or one experience can create so much of what we call the past. The experience might be a 'one-off' experience, completely surrounded by other experiences, but it is the one that stands out and is remembered. Take, for example, the man who, as a boy, on just one isolated occasion, went fishing with his father. The experience summed up everything he wanted in his relationship with his father, and, as a man, he is fully convinced that he and his father often went fishing together; in fact, the idea of fishing has become an important part of who he is. Whether this is a negative or a positive experience is difficult to say. However, when it comes to the girl who subconsciously borrows the trauma of the woman accosted in a dark street by a couple of men - so eloquently described in the newspaper - and later firmly believes that she herself was similarly accosted on several occasions, it is not difficult to discern between positive and negative experiences - real or not. In both cases, the interpretation of the past, false as it may be, has shaped not only the past but also how these two people relate to the present.

Our past, therefore, becomes a mixture of reality and fantasy, of wrongly remembered experiences and even other people's experiences. Eventually any line between truth and fantasy, between reality and imagination, becomes difficult to discern. One can then wonder if it is important to draw such a line, or whether it is even possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment