Useless memories


Since it was a nice day my partner S and I decided to go for a walk after lunch. We chose to take the road that starts next to our house and leads to an old travertine quarry. We use these walks to discuss and exchange experiences we normally have no occasion for to properly address. At a certain point the paved road becomes a dirt road and suddenly I had a memory that I immediately shared with S. It reminded me how I climbed this same road on my mountain bike. I could still tell the fatigue I felt and started immediately to draw conclusions stating it was probably better to walk this road than doing it by bike.

S. asked me if I could see the starting point of this memory. The fatigue? No, it was the gravel. Fascinating to see that the mind makes an association with a picture (gravel) and seems to grab randomly a memory out of the big box. Happy with the memory your mind starts elaborating it and very quickly you are in the mind fantasizing about whatever, all triggered by this memory that apparently made a lot of sense in the context of your thoughts.

Wait… I missed something. I thought I was walking in nature enjoying fresh air and the nice weather. The split second in which an association was made sucked me into my mind and before I knew it I was thinking about the memory I had and trying to make sense out of the memory since there should have been some good reason for this memory to pop up, right?

No. All this memory did was spoil a part of the walk. I was not anymore one with nature, with the road, the stones, the trees, the air, the insects, the first early spring flowers, the mountains, the views. I was in the mind thinking of a previous experience that was not giving me any added value in that specific moment since I was not on a bike, climbing up the hill. Even worse, I was drawing  conclusions and making statements about an experience I had in the past without knowing how I would experience a same kind of experience if I was going to do it again.

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