Thirty years have passed and a person I’d forgotten steps into the room, her eyes wrinkled and hair silver, but her voice, her essence, the same. How is it that someone forgotten, remembered with only the barest of details, stale labels and objective identifiers, can, in the space of a moment, become so fully remembered, recognized, rejoiced? She walked into the room and was real to me again.
What else have I forgotten? Who else sleeps in my memory? I can draw a scene, and come back to the same landscape years later, and it’s as if we recognize each other, even after all the changes of weather and time. This is especially true of trees, in my own experience.
Or I come upon the land where I was born, the place where I first drew breath, and all the dreams of that place tumble into my awareness. I feel charged, and stretched, as if I am bending time, merging realities, weaving together dimensions, just by being so close to that place.
I listened to a neuroscientist speak on consciousness. Some things can’t be studied. He admits to the limits of his queries. Such spontaneous arisings of memory, that stir the body and flush the heart with recognition―these are the things that can’t be studied. Like the woman who knows suddenly that she is pregnant, for in the stillness of the moment she recognizes a spirit, a being not yet incarnate, that has ineffably entered her body, delicate but certain.
Walk through the world with great care. Witness the cosmos of your own body. There are great jaguars slinking around the limits of your knowing. They dare you to look into their eyes, to recognize something you’ve never seen before.