Monday, June 1, 2009

Fleetingness & Memory of Significant Life Events

Some motion pictures stay with us for some time. Anna and the King (1999) I think will have this impact on me. The following quote explains a Thai king’s inspiration at the hand of an ‘Imperialist’ English woman...

“It is always surprising how small a part of life is taken up of meaningful moments--most of them they’re over before they start, although they cast a light on the future, and make the person who originated them unforgettable. Anna had shined such a light on Siam” –King Chulalongkorn’s (character in Anna and the King, 1999).
Looking now at a page on the king, there is a striking resemblance between the boy king (played by Keith Chin) in Anna and the King, and the king’s likeness itself.[1]

This king, Chulalongkorn, (or Phra Chulachom Klao Chaoyuhua or Rama V) brought so many good and sweeping reforms to his country including the abolition of slavery, religious freedom, the maintenance of his country’s independence, and he also reformed the judicial system.[2] He was also attributed as having miraculous powers, and whose presence (even in a photograph) brought a great deal of good luck.[3]

But, what struck me most was this quote above.

We find it so breathtakingly intangible that important goodbyes are over before they’ve started. The memory of the event makes the event so much larger in comparison.

And the memory has to do this, for the mundane could otherwise take over, and that would be plain wrong.

We think of those significant life events now, perhaps one or two, and we look back with a longing, accepted sadness, or with regret, or with a tang of bitter-sweet lost-in-the-moment joy.

Significant life events are important and they are commemorated through the memory of them. We get to take them with us; the event and the emotional meaning we’ve since attached to the event.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
[1] “King Chulalongkorn the Great.” Retrieved 31 May 2009.
[2] The Credits to Anna and the King mention this.
[3] Ibid.

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