There is something that happens when we look back at the past.
What actually was becomes a little blurry. Maybe that’s because we weren’t paying careful attention at the time, or maybe the specific details are just difficult to remember. Maybe we have reasons for not wanting to recall things exactly as they were, or maybe it’s that great mystery of the Universe – Time – just doing it’s job.
What we see when we start to remember is distorted a bit. Only we haven’t distorted it in an ugly way. It’s not deformed or strange. In fact, it has become much prettier than it ever was when we actually lived it. Prettier, but still distorted.
When we access our memories they are covered in a glossy sheen that surely wasn’t there at the time we actually experienced these things. It gets added somewhere between time passing and our brains recovering this information that has long passed. The more time has passed, the glossier.
It seems to me that sometimes we enjoy our memories more than we do the actual experience of life. Because memories can be…enhanced. Just like a magazine cover that has been “touched up” a bit, we can remove that bit of shadow on this part, cover up this blemish over here, blend this in better up near the top, and make the whole thing brighter overall.
Yes, it’s still based on our life experience, but this is a much more palatable version of that experience.
Maybe we like our memories better because they are like art – beautiful, based on perception, a polished product. And our experiences are more like walking through the mud – messy, slow, and ungraceful.
Even mud can look beautiful on a canvas.
Do you find your memories to be “enhanced” when you view them? Please share in the comments.