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Reliving it all

Experiences. As we grow older, we gather them. We want to do everything in our lifetimes. Some things we love, others we dont enjoy as much. But most are things we gain a history from, a 'have done' from. And some things we want to do 'at least once in life!'.

How much experience gathering becomes too much? Or is that impossible? (Most) People travel and see places. They love it. Some go in for adventure sports, and some others for different arts.

But things change. Perspectives change.

I have visited many places as a kid, and many more as an adult. Some places have overlapped where I remembered certain aspects from my childhood, but many times the objects look different as an adult.

I remember reading a short story in school called 'The Pomegranate Tree'. The father used to tell his son how big the pomegranate tree at his childhood home was, as compared to the 'runts' you saw where they lived. Finally, one day Dad and son travel cross-country to the old house, and the tree, suddenly is not big at all - its just an ordinary pomegranate tree, aged and old.
An trip probably both of them could have done without.
However, note that is memory is but a photograph of the past, often photoshopped. Over time not only did the Dads tree become bigger in his imagination, the real tree also grew older.

Consider Bungee Jumping. Someone might go ahead and finally do it. 'An experience of a life time'. After that they do river rafting, paragliding, whatever. But don't bungee jump - because they have done that, and got the experience.
But it remains an experience from the past. They will remember only the highlights after a month or two. Not the actual thrill of the jump.They can talk about it, but what of feeling the exultancy when jumping off? The heart-in-mouth feeling? The feeling's photographs remain, but the feeling does not.
Remembering bungee jumping does not make you feel the free fall and the tug of the rope.

If the point of the experience was the feel, does it make sense now that the experience is so old? Or does it count as never having done that activity since you cant feel it anymore.
It is, then, quite acceptable that a person who bungee jumped five minutes ago disregard the Experience of the early jumper. But that does not happen. What does happen is the young jumper wishes s/he could have done it earlier, and moved on like the Experienced one, to newer activities. And this may be because they too will be one-timers (or two timers) as opposed to weekly jumpers.

A city visited once still exists after the visit. And changes happen. To the visitor and the city. After 10 years can the person truly say he had visited the place and knows it? Or is that considered nostalgia and reminiscence? And looked upon with indulgent exasperation with recent visitors?

So how often does one need to refresh memory? How often is it that you need to go to a place you loved, so that its not a memory, but a real, live, experience. And, is it really required? After all, with so many things to do in the world, who has the time or inclination to shortlist a few activities and repeat them?

But then, when it comes to real love and like, we do. You like a city enough, you go there again and again, and might even settle there. And, afterall this is how the river rafters who raft every season become who they are - a seasonal rafter, not a one-timer.

For the common man however, it all remains an experience to remember and photographs to point at. And to say 'did you do this?' and 'is it still as cold'?
Because, I remember, when I had gone as a child, the cannons looked big, but perhaps now I can span them with my hands.
And then I think, at least I saw them. At least I saw them once.

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10th Jul, 2008 08:09 (UTC)
Re: i have
True, but i was talking of experiences of a different type. the 'experiences' of things we do rarely. Like travel to an exotic place, do a difficult to find activity. Things that most people classify as 'one in life' or do after a lot of planning.
Thus these can be associated with only one bit of memory - and cant be used again. If you had a crepe in France, you wouldnt remember France everytime you ate a crepe. However, if someone mentioned France you would go 'Oh i loved the crepes there - they were just right, and warm...' but you wouldnt remember the taste because its too old a memory. You will remember the memory of the taste - that it was good and while eating it you thought it was warm and nice.
Next time you go to France and eat a crepe, it might turn out just as nice, or mellower than the memory of the taste when you first had it, without prior experience.

So, true the bit of information gets stored, and gets triggered, but the trigger for such Experiences that people talk about and list as accomplishments, is quite different from that of the experiencing a particular song (an ordinary event) in a certain setting and hearing it again.

About Me

Regurgitations of my mind. Specific, Vague, Memorable, Forgettable, Thoughtless, In-depth.

More variegated than your dreams or colours off a crystal. More than I can pen down. What I can, you can read.

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