People hold on to things to remember events. From a broken relationship, a girl carries a birthday card; from a book, a reader collects sentences; from a weekend holiday at the Coast, sand and cowry shells. But even without these things, the past catches up, it finds you, unaided. In a scent from the collar of the man sitting next to you in the bus, an old lover comes back to life. In an old song, the regrets of a Friday night. In the sound of a siren, your mother’s funeral. In the colour red, the pain of losing virginity.
Scents and songs and sounds and colors transport you to the tombs of time. They take you back to the past, to time in its death. To a rent you were once unable to pay. To teenage inadequacies. Breaking voices. Wet dreams. Adolescence pimples. And at that moment, you experience the past as if it were alive. Scents and songs and sounds and colors deceive you. They make events of the past feel alive. And when they come to you, they do not do so in form of memories. There is a certain laziness in memories. A memory is without life. Inconsequential. A quick, disinterested look in the past. But this past that comes to you through scents and songs and sounds and colors is alive. Your body is not removed from these experiences. It is a participant and a spectator. You remember the exact emotions of a conversation. You feel it again. You remember the pang in your heart when you read those text messages accidentally. You remember the pitilessness of death, and how it felt when it snatched her away. The bloodless bleeding of the heart. You remember laughter. How once upon, you knew the warmth of unprompted laughter. You are more than a witness to the resurrection of time. When it comes back, it brings with it what it took away in its death.
Perhaps, when we desert time, it gets lonely and runs after us. It wants us back. It thus comes back to us through these things. Scents and songs and sounds and colors.
Time, a game of the past, the now and the future, and all the other seconds lost between these three. The ones that do not belong anywhere.
Time, a thing which murders itself. The now pushing back the minutes that are in your hands, and off they go, the past they make. Killing its own kind. But even in death, the maimed time only sleeps. Its kind of death is pretentious. The kind that pythons die when they have fed, and wake up when hungry. Time waits for scents and songs and sounds and colors to feed.
While the past is time in its death, the future is a possibility of time, wearing the face of optimism. We anticipate to make a new past with the future. To live it and discard it. And as we anticipate the future, making a new past with the now, we create events that will bring the past back to us through scents and songs and sounds and colors. We pair them. We fall in love to certain songs, we grieve, we buy clothes of specific colours, we lose phones, we travel, we say things. We give this past we are creating a reason to come back to us.
The past is undoable. We change it as we encounter the now, and as the future nears, we learn. Each lesson is a new eye. And when we look back, things register differently. We think differently of them. What was a broken heart becomes a learning experience; a near accident becomes a call to the altar. We undo the events of the past merely by how we think of them. And soon, the past that comes through scents and songs and sounds and colors becomes a different thing altogether. It matures. It does not sleep. It does not remain stagnant. Sure we abandon it. We pursue the new minutes, loving the past less, pushing it into the pits of the unmemorable. But scents and songs and sounds and colors reawaken it. The past is never dead. It is time in its sleep. It resurrects