Memories are like starlight.

They shine bright in the darkness of a melancholic mind. They nourish a longing body and cradle a saddened soul. They torture an insecure heart and cause a broken spirit to crumble. They live on, long after they were initially fuelled. They dazzle, like the light of stars from years and years ago.

Memories are always there. A constant reminder of the impressions that touched us – voluntarily or involuntarily. Recurring visions of the things that have transformed our lives. A lingering presence that guides us through our days, always latently there, like the light that sparkles in the night.

Life is a collection of captured moments and encounters. An ever-expanding catalogue from which no volumes can truly be removed. A series of impressions that define us as we move on and on.

At times it may seem as though some impressions have faded, but when the sun sets, they reappear as if they never fully left. Other times memories are reborn unexpectedly, in the laughing eyes of another, in the cosiness of a shared experience, in the tranquillity of our gaze.

Parting with them seems impossible. You can merely absorb them and move on. Changed by the circumstances encountered. Coexisting with what fate has put on your pathway. And as you walk, you live and relive. Sometimes bright, sometimes faint. Always knowing you will meet again – voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will meet again when gloom glitters in the dark gutters of your mind. You will meet again when an innocent scene triggers a thought or action. Because memories live on like the starlight. On and on, until the end of your days. 

“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star. It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist anymore. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.”

These words – taken from Haruki Murakami’s melancholic novel South of the Border, West of the Sun – say it all. What happened, will never be recreated. But it can feel so very real.

Real like the constellations I admired years ago whilst tracking through the Colca Canyon. Real like the stars that surrounded me in the Sahara as I laid down in the cold sand. Real like Deneb and Vega shining bright over London on a booze-filled summer night.

Memories are like starlight. And the memories I have of stargazing, are memories I hold dear.


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