86400 seconds ago it was yesterday. How
many of them do you remember? There were many other days. Which of them do you
remember and which you have already forgotten? What does your memory look like?
Like a garden? Then how many annual rings
ago did you first feel your vulnerability?
Like an attic? How many meters of cobweb
ago did you feel confused and helpless?
Like ruins? Then how many stones ago your
love was ruined?
It seems that it was when ... It seems
that it was then ... It seems that it was ... It seems ...
A memory of someone becomes a memory of
thousands of other people, just like many feathers become a wing, and words
written to someone become ashes. Similarly, wounds inflicted on someone are
absorbed by the others.
When introducing the term “collective
memory” Maurice Halbwachs
emphasized that this memory does not exist outside of social frames and that
shift or disintegration of these frames leads to changes in personal memory and
even forgetting. The deeper the trauma is repressed into the public
unconscious, the less it looks like a trauma, and we do not understand how it
affects us. The affective saturation of the direct participant in the event is
softened and stereotyped by repeating the story about it. Subsequent
representation turns affect into ambivalence, and then into collective memory.
The history of wars, revolutions, catastrophes, repressions and destructions
expands the space of collective trauma and burns traces in the memory of
society.How do you take care of your garden of
memories? Perhaps when wandering through this garden, you speak with people
from the past in your thoughts, and their words turn into ashes, and you are
trying to preserve it. Perhaps their voices still sound like a looped audio
recording in your heart. Perhaps your pain is beating like a bird, and you
collect its feathers, which fall to the ground. Perhaps your memories hurt you
like broken glass.
You entered into this garden when the
trees were big. Trees can keep memories. Time tries to erase emotions, faces,
feelings, and even the most powerful experiences. What remains with us after
the trauma? Can we save our identity? Do you have an answer? Then tell me, is
it possible to erase the memory? Does it hurt? What is harder - to erase the
memory or to survive a pain of loss? Can we influence the garden of our
memories, can we hide in it?
Perhaps after a certain time you may
forget this text, as you have already forgotten the flowers on a windowsill in
your parents' apartment, your tears after the first fall, taste of homemade
cake, smile of a friend after a successful joke, smell of road after the rain
... Perhaps after a certain time you may forget this voice ... and individual
sensory perception will also give way to collective.
Someday we will be left by everyone we
love. Someday there will be nobody left, even us. Even the memory about us. It
seems that we enter into our garden. Be. In memoriam.