(I repost this, actually, from 2009. Just came upon it again, having seen that someone else had read it, and I kind of liked it).
I happened to hear a song on the radio this morning--Annie Lennox singing "No More I Love Yous"--and it instantly called forth the period of time just after I had broken up with Jamie, back in 2005. Isn't it odd how music can serve in this sort of mnemonic way, calling forth a sort of encapsulated essence of a certain time? It is more than remembering, recalling details or facts. It is the retrieval of a complex aura of feeling, so whole and accurate in itself that it can actually make your heart ache. In fact, one does not so much recall as he suddenly re experiences. It is not that one remembers and then explores what he remembers; rather, memory comes upon him, more in the manner of revelation. What arrives has not been called forth, but sent.
Strange world, this. Stranger yet the individual in it.
Have you ever smelled something, or caught a glance of something, or heard a sound, and found yourself instantly transported to the very core of another time and place? Suddenly you are five, or twenty-five; suddenly you are in a meadow by a river; suddenly you are sitting with your mother and the Cocker Spaniel on the back porch on a summer day regardless of these many years since they have died.
You smell something--something unnameable, and yet intact, complete--and you are suddenly beside your brother's hospital bed, holding his hand as his life slips away.
You hear a song, this voice, this pitch, and you relive how your heart sank so low, how your breath grew so short, how your soul reached then to the empty air where she had been. You can almost smell her skin again, you can almost touch her hair.
Strange world, strange world. Stranger yet the individual, this man, this woman, this perpetual child whispering well wishes in eternity to the unending cosmos.
Nothing whatsoever has been lost. Nothing ever comes to an end. People only imagine it so.