My memory turns back to the winter of 1987, I was twenty. While it drizzled at the foot of the rolling hills of South Yorkshire in the North of England, a shadow of silvery snow enveloped the surroundings as altitude increased. I walked alone along the mountain ridge, immersed in the thickest of fogs, where visibility was no more than two feet. All things fell silent in that white, hazy world – there was no rain, snow, wind, sounds or people. I lost my bearings in the clouds. It was an encounter that would take a lifetime to forget.
Spring of 2012, I found myself gazing out at the grey white mountains from a window at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I glanced back at the book shelves, conjuring up a thought of some sort. The thought dispersed before I even figured out what I had forgotten. Now a man forty four years of age, I sat alone in my anxiety.
Human beings spend the first half of their lives pursuing experiences. The latter half has begun by the time one reminisces. When our remaining breathing moments become the memory of what preceded, has life itself not already ended? Or maybe, we experience and forget simultaneously, leaving behind only the impression of events. In our acts of reminiscence we search for a certain blurry consciousness, which we then re-read to make sense of. After a brief moment of clarity, such consciousness dissolves back into its former forgotten state. The chronologies of events drift and mingle to resume its archaic form of chaos; and memory hovers between the acts of reminiscing and forgetting.
The moment of re-reading life occurs after reminiscence and before forgetting. I gently press onto memory, and wait for a certain consciousness to surface from the depths.