Last night my parents and I decided to spend our 30some dollars to see the movie, Inception, and while we left a little confused (maybe not in a bad way necessary) we were certainly not disappointed. Has Hollywood redeemed itself by providing us with an innovative, mind-boggling, thought-provoking, visually enticing movie perfect for the dreamers & thinkers in this world? In my opinion a true ‘must see’, and once that you must see a few times to really understand the concepts at hand.
In the movie, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, instructs, “Never recreate from your memory. Always imagine new places. ” I’ve been thinking about this line and the concept behind it ever since hearing it last night and now I pose these questions: Is that possible? Can you prohibit your memories from invading the creation of new dreams?
By the way, I have to share that I definitely have the “What do tigers dream of” song from The Hangover in my head now…and now you may too. You’re welcome, America.
Yesterday I shared the significance of July 18th and I’m fairly open about the boy who still encompasses many of my dreams (conscious, subconscious, and unconscious). I also continuously discuss the impact that many of my friends have on me and the memories that I hold near & dear to my heart. The memories of these remarkable, heart-warming people always play a role in my dreams. They are the people who I want to share my future with and since most of them are no longer physically present in my daily life, I have to keep them alive in my dreams. In fact I find that the older I get, the more I hold on to these precious memories. I may view these friendships a little differently, but the memories are still there. The people will always be on my mind and in my heart.
There’s no better way to put it than by saying that I’m a dreamer; an overthinker; and a memory-holder. My memories remind me who I am and where I came from. They remind me that I’ve loved and that I am loved. They remind me that I have friends to support me through the rough periods and help me enjoy the good times. My memories help me feel less lost as I journey through this life of mine.
I have to play devil’s advocate here and ask, are there negative consequences of memories? Do memories hold us back and prevent us from creating brand new worlds for ourselves?
Now I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, and quite honestly, I’m not sure if I fully understand it properly to even do so. But one theme that I can emphasize with is guilt & regret. Without giving away the surrounding details, Cobb (Leo) is unable to block his deceased wife from his dream world (ie. his work) because of the never-ending guilt and responsibility that he feels for her demise- which is explained during the movie. During the movie and afterwards as well, I found myself wondering if 1) he’s truly keeping her ‘alive’ in his dreams to keep (what he believes) keeps himself feeling ‘alive’ (by being in her presence) or 2) if he is unable to truly erase her from his past memories & the new ones he desires to create. I think it’s both. And anyone who has mourned the loss of a loved one and/or had their heartbroken can ration out the details with me. We hold onto the memories mistakenly believing that they free us from the pain, leaving us feeling numb and not really knowing what is real and what’s real and what’s part of the world we create from memories & dreams.
I’m hesitant to speak up on this subject because I know that my own experiences are mere biases that actually have me questioning my own beliefs and actions. I feel very strongly that my memories (mostly of a certain person) hold me back from creating new beginnings. Like Cobb in the movie, I find myself haunted by past memories & with the desire to keep him ‘alive’. I argue that I cannot keep him our of my dream, but is it more that I don’t want to? Honestly, I think it’s both and maybe more of the latter. I’ve categorized my thoughts & feelings as the first love curse and the belief of him being ‘The One’ That Got Away. But evidentially am I the only one holding myself back from letting go? There’s no dream-inducing drug that’s trapping me in these memories nor a soulmate literally keeping me captive. Instead I feel as though I am the abductor and the victim…forcing myself to be the prisoner in my own memories & hopeful dreams of the what if…
Do memories make us feel ‘alive’ or is it our mind that convinces us to believe in such gibberish? Do we hide behind and/or within our memories because of the comfort they provide; therefore protecting us from the unknown and our fears of change?
Whether you can join me and call yourself a dreamer or not, you still have dreams. Each and every one of us have dreams. Some are creations of our imagination that may only exist in the perfect world within your subconscious mind, while others are attainable as a result of good fortune, luck, perseverance, and/or courageous actions. Our dreams are usually the extension of the world we’ve come to know, whether or not the end result elicits one to abandon that world into a new one. A dream gives you hope for a better tomorrow and allows you to achieve what you deem as happiness. But no matter what tomorrow’s dream world may hold, I can promise you that your memories will still exist. Some memories may be as visual as the day the memory was made, and others may be blurred and contaminated by years of abandonment. Some memories (or versions of them) arise in our dreams, leaving us questioning how they got there in the first place.
Memories remind us of who we once were and who we have become. They remind us of the people who once held a special place in our hearts, joining us in the memories that we continue to make each and every day. Some of these people appear more than others; some are heard to remember in our consciousness, while others are impossible to forget as they spin our tired minds in circles.
You know when I went through my phase of running away a few years ago, I tried forcing myself to forget certain memories. Not only is it not possible, it’s probably the most ridiculous thing one can attempt to do. As I stress, we are the product of our experiences and our memories, and therefore, why would you even try to do so? I know, I was a very foolish girl who just wound up with a few regrets and one bit headache. Oh well, you live & you learn. And you make mistakes to learn not to make the same ones again.
In a way the movie makes me think of this song, I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
The title of this post is a quote by Oscar Wilde. I find it appropriate to honor him and my love for Wilde’s Irish Pub and its deliciousness. If you’re ever in Chicago, this is a must! And definitely order the Sweet Potato Fries!!