I just saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tonight. Actually, I had just finished it, probably 10 minutes ago. Didn't plan on seeing it but I was recently intrigued by the topic of memory.
It started when I was having a conversation with a friend and we were reminiscing our past trip together. "I'm so gonna remember that trip for the rest of my life," he said. I concurred, randomly adding that we should make a memoir out of it just for a kick, so we definitely won't ever forget it. "I mean, you write it based on your memory, and I write based on mine. Who knows, maybe we remember things differently, it'll be interesting to find out," I said.
"So true. Don't you know," he launched into a serious mode," that according to scientists, remembering itself is an unreliable process. There's no such thing as real memories, because true memories can easily be obliterated and false ones added."
"In short, the more vividly you remember things, the more likely it's actually further away from the truth."
For some reason, this really irks my curiosity. I listened to Radiolab broadcast on this very topic, memory and forgetting. It says, when we're remembering something, we're actually recreating it. What we really remember is just recollection of the experience in the light of today.
Anyway, I was out to the video store this evening, just returning Departures and Little Miss Sunshine. Yes, I'm on a roll here, people. And yes, I had interest on this movie because of my little fascination about the subject, even though my sister admitted of seeing the first 15 minutes of the film and not understanding a single thing. "It's weird," she said. Still, I wanted to give it a try.
It's about a guy who found out that his girlfriend went to a doctor to have her memory of him erased, and so out of anger he decided to do the same and erase her. As we go along though, as he revisited his memories as it's being erased, he realized that these memories are precious, that he still loved her.
It ended on a hopeful note, and personally I really like it. If you happened to have seen it, let me know what you think.
Memory is a personal thing. I think it's one of a very few things that we can truly call our own, and that makes it precious. That means, noone can take that away. And maybe, the act of remembering, or the memory itself, says a lot more about you, than what actually happened.
Shall we just take comfort in that?