Legend of the River of Memories
A long time ago, in the not so distant past that we, the human race, can’t even remember, memories didn’t exist. We lived to survive just for the day and did not have the luxury to remember about a thing the next day. Surely men remembered their names, the name of their wives and such, but that was just that. And while this may be like a curse for some, the people at that time didn’t think so. It was neither actually. For them, everyday being as mundane as the previous centuries that past is just plain ordinary. And you might have wondered why I even said centuries? Why certainly yes! For they have lived very long lives. The great heavenly deity have granted them such grandeur, that it took its toll of not having memories in exchange. Oh how caring and thoughtful that deity was. Imagine the burden of having to remember centuries after centuries of routinely crafted living. Atrocious! And so that’s how it was. In modern times one might even call it a robotic long life.
As far as I can remember, it was one of these quotidian men, a fine young hunter he was, that started all that made the big difference. On a fine sunny Saturday afternoon at about 3:47 post meridiem, this man was on its third day of his hunting trip. He’s gotten quite lost actually. In the years of his professional hunting experience, these past three days were odd for he has never gotten lost before. It was as if some other deity has guided him. Guided him to nowhere that is! And if there’s one thing that was really bothering him was that, he was very thirsty. For he have hiked for too long and never got lucky in finding game and his water flask have already run out. But alas! Upon sitting down for a while trying to catch his breath under a big old redwood tree, that fine masculine hunter started to hear something. He could hear water rushing. He followed where the sound was coming from. And through the thick bushes he saw a river with glistening waters after the setting golden sun.
He quickly made a couple of big gulps and filled his flask from the flowing rapids. And as soon as his dying thirst has been quenched, he saw a great big moose which got its antlers stuck in the thick bushes probably from also wanting to drink from the river. He aimed his bow at the struggling specimen, and drove its mighty arrow in its body. Contented and satisfied, he prepared his long journey back home to where his wife awaits. And it was as if the gods were conspiring against him, that with his cleared mind and rejuvenated body, he has found a shortcut! The hunter came home late that night. He, having grown tired again on the way back home, slept right away. Not knowing about the magic that was about to unfold the next day.
The following morning when he woke up feeling fine and dandy, he noticed he had this great feeling of zest deep within him which he couldn’t describe. The man was so zealous that he started telling his wife about the great adventure he had upon hunting in the woods. And he wondered why he can remember such a thing? But that confusion was overwhelmed with the happiness he felt on having to remember just a simple escapade. It took him a while to realize that it was perhaps that beautiful river in which he drank from that gave him this luxury called memory. So he decided to let his wife drink from it also. And from then on, they were thrilled to enjoy sharing stories of their past like kids giggling while telling stories of their dreams. It wasn’t long before they decided to share their miraculous discovery and told their townsfolk about the river. Soon enough, all of them had memories.
As much as I would want to end this story with the happy ending so it may seem, the happiness was short-lived. After all the people were aware of what happened to them the other day or so, they started to not care. I mean, if you had long lifespans, what worth does a day of memories is to you anyways if you could easily replace it with another right? And so it was!
“When mankind started taking memories for granted, they gradually had shorter lifespans… Maybe to make them realize how much each one was meant to be preciously treasured…”
The great heavenly deity who gave them a long life maybe have gotten sad that even with the long life and memories, the people were leading worthless lives with no purpose and are now literally just plain zombies; a slave to the endless routines that society has set before them. And the fine young hunter, who missed the days where he could always tell something new to his wife about his past adventures, have run out of stories to tell since the day before was just the same as the other one. And the river, which was once sought after for its life changing miracle, has now been forgotten in oblivion.
It is said, blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders. But I also think blessed are those who remember: for they give life worth and meaning, to press on forward and make the next ones more meaningful.