Memory is shadow. A 2d projection of a 3d event. Warped and wrung by heat and light. Mushed and mangled by time and experience.
A memory of seeing the Mona Lisa, an event almost a decade old, passed, unrelated to anything, to the front of my mind on a day when other, more interesting things were happening, as if my mind accidentally hit the ‘shuffle all’ button on my life’s playlist.
The memory isn’t of the painting at all, it is from above, looking down on a sea of disembodied heads and hands holding cameras, although I’m sure cameras weren’t allowed, all pointed towards a small glass box on a wall, inside of which, we were told, hung the most famous painting in the world.
I wanted to be moved. I guess the existence of the memory proves that I felt something. Enough anyway for my mind to use up precious synapses or neurons to hold a permanent impression of the event.
In the end though, my memory isn’t of the thing, (the painting,) it is of seeing the thing.
It is a memory of something that hardly happened at all.