I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships off the shores of Orion. Glittering C-beams at Tannhausser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.
– Batty in Blade Runner
The rush of wind sweeping up off a prairie in West Texas just before sunset. The electric blue light on a January dusk in the Hudson Valley. The smell of rain in June when you’re in love. Tender eyes that say, “I believe in you.” The last time you held your father’s hand.
The Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, based on the Philip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, plays out questions of what it is to be human, namely the relationship of memory and identity. In the climactic scene above, a central android – rebelling in his “desire” to be “free” – gives detective Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, a glimpse of his android “humanity” and of, indeed, his own original, non-implanted memories.
That image of “moments in time…lost like tears in rain” has haunted me since I saw the flick in the ’80s.
Where do memories go? Residues go in our viscera. Some in our neuronal wiring. Some get passed down and revised. Some memory-fragments get converted into art, combined into literary characters & tales, shape-shifted into sculptures.
A side-wonder: Need we be wary of ten or more hours a day digital interfacing? Will such habits gradually numb the visceral? Is it likely that a person interacting with computers and iPhones more than physical surroundings and human beings will have far less sensual memories to lose? I wonder.
Imagine a planet made of your smallest, most tender memories. Savor them. You never know what life form might grow from them.
Share below your day’s 3 highlights – and let us know where you’re writing from.
See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy