Our memories are entangled

A friend recently sent a picture of a vacation we took together. I was shocked because I couldn’t remember the vacation. I don’t remember everything from my life, but I thought I remembered more significant events, such as a vacation with friends. It took me some time to recollect those memories. Are those memories part of me, or are they part of the picture and I?

Even our memories are entangled with others: They are not just in our brain, but in our whole body and in relation with others - human and nonhuman, landscapes and cultures. It’s in the scent of a favorite food; it’s in the sweater of our childhood, it’s in the song that we couldn’t stop listening to, and it’s in a picture that reminds us of the last vacation we took. The work of memory is part of the network of interaction that shapes us as “individuals.” Memories are held not only, or perhaps even not primarily, in our brains. Instead, they are held within precisely the complex network of relationships that shape us. They are not confined to the solitary chambers of our minds but rather dance within the spaces between hearts, forging bonds that transcend the limits of individuality.