I don’t watch too much Sex and the City, but I do enjoy the show every once in a while, especially the relationship insights of Carrie. This is my spin on a Carrie piece.
Why do we find it so important to revisit places, and rewrite things after something goes right there, and then wrong later. “This was where we had our first kiss, but I can’t remember it as that place because we aren’t together anymore.”
In some science fiction stories (Slaughterhouse Five comes to mind, but there are many others) time does not work in a straight line, but rather everything throughout time continues on at once. So when someone dies, they’re not dead forever because at another earlier time, they are still walking down a street, or ordering a roast beef sandwich, or even having a first kiss in the parking lot of a train station.
This idea may not work in a world outside the pages of a science fiction novel, but the idea still holds some importance. Places hold memories of all the people who were there, and the things that happened to those people. They are replayed within the human mind, but still the whole memory, the viceral replay of the memory can only be recalled in its entirety when the memory keeper returns to that place.
That doesn’t entirely answer my question though. Why is it necessary to go back to these places, step on the ground that we stood on months or years ago and relive these moments? Is it because we want to be in control of the memories when they flood back? Do we want to punish ourselves for everything that went wrong between that time and now? Or is it because we think that revisiting these places will somehow make us stronger, and in some miraculous way, make it more possible for us to truly and completely move on?
It’s a purification process I guess. A ritual that equates with burning photographs, or hiding all his gifts and letters in a box on the top shelf of your closet. It’s a more figurative way of burning bridges and cutting ties, for if we are no longer phased by these places and things, maybe, just maybe we will be able to let go of the person in the memories.