Last night I was unable to write any more. Lucia and Jasper were visiting us. And that means eating early because of the hour time difference with Spain. Jasper always wants to eat at seven Spanish time, which is six with us. For us, that doesn’t matter much to eat so early for once. We could sit under the pergola. It was a lovely summer day of around 30 degrees with a breeze. That’s pretty cool for July. I had made Caprece beforehand and a Marrakesh beef tajine as the main course. Delicious with Alentejan bread. Dessert? The delicious blackberries growing along the pergola with vanilla caramel ice cream from Carte d’Or but house brand Pingo Doce. It was enjoyable as always and the evening was filled with humour, self-mockery, serious conversations and lots of laughter.
With them, conversations about the superior white hetero male who have ruined the world and put humanity on the wrong track are almost a blast even though there are many opinions. We are good at listening to each other and taking and giving space to discover where there is truth in the controversial opinions, fed one-sidedly by the media circus. They are also only personal opinions and we do not know the true history. We only know what the victor has written down and what the leaders want us to believe. I think what the people who lived through it all remember is worth much more, because in my view the participants in the events are the true historians.
But I don’t want to talk about all that. Indeed, I want to talk about this: I heard young people saying: oh nice we are going to make memories now! They sat by the river where they had never been before, grabbed their phones and I suspect Instagram or Tiktok was the medium on which they reported what they were doing. One selfie and youfie after another followed in quick succession. A while later, they checked whether there were any reactions. I don’t need to describe this phenomenon any further. We all know it.
My question is: how do you start making memories?
A human being cannot actively make memories. Making memories is not an action. It is the result of an action in the now that is stored as a memory somewhere in your subconscious. As soon as memories are consciously made, you as a human being are not present. Then you are preoccupied with later. A minute or years later. You are then not living life now, you are living for the appreciation and approval you hope to get later.
It is extremely difficult anyway for people to be present to what they are doing or not doing. To be one hundred per cent and with an open mind in conversations. All the words that are spoken, all the thoughts that pass by, it is always about the past or the future. Just pay attention to it. It seems indeed like a circle that a person cannot step out of. It seems, I say. You can step out, if you truly want to. Then later you can remember the timeless, peaceful, loving moment when you were one hundred per cent present with life. And such a moment was last night.