I just realized that different versions of ourselves exist in the minds of those who know us. That, and of course, I have likewise seen that these versions could come in many forms: hazy first impressions, funny moments, or coming in as fragments in anecdotes and old small talk with other people. For those who know us well, our friends or family, their mind-images of us may seem like near-perfect copies of the real mcCoy, even down to the last mole.
However, while all these are totally drawn from memory, these fotos in their heads do not really matter, for they are merely nothing but stale impressions of us. What they actually are, are projections in the mind’s canvas.
In the groove yet? As an example, try to vividly picture an apple in your mind, imagining its weight and color. How will that compare to having a real apple in your hand?
Just a few days ago, I was looking through some old photographs I found in a drawer, and I happened to see one faded pic of toddlers on a baby bike. It had taken me a few seconds before I finally recognized them as the niece and nephew of a friend whom I used to visit way back. I have never seen them kids again face to face after that picture, yet that image was exactly how they looked, frozen in my mind through these years.
Sadly, it had only been last year when I found out that one of them had already passed away. Then, as my initial impulse to the news, I had checked online to see how they looked in the present-day, to realize how they have grown, lived, loved and with one moving on. Another thing I have realized in the exercise, how fast time really had flown.
On a different note, I now fully understand snide quips and remarks like “you’ve grown old (or fat)!”, from certain (old and fat) people. They say these in reference to how they last picture you. I also understand old folks when they reprimand the younger generations. They only see them as those children, never growing up, in their mind’s eye!
All these may not amount to much nowadays, especially when we consider the modern means of communications we have available. Because of such technologies, the mind’s eye is thus always kept in sync with present time, so that old photographs are just relegated to merely that.
But is it really that simple? During this quarantine, I may have learned that digital presence can indeed link us up (despite poor Wi-Fi) with those dear ones we are separated from, and enjoy an HD, real-time projection of how they look today, but is that enough?
Those old fashioned memories, along with their faded photos may be things of the past yes, but they have not been totally devoid of our sense of touch. We used to lovingly touch the ones we love in the old days, stroking the hair of some or fondly cradling little babies, did we not?
Now, we just touch the LED screens and crawl back to the old mind’s eye.
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