The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Our mind is a varied and strange place. We have doors to memory that we lock for no apparent reason. But this is where it gets weird. The keys to unlock these doors can be almost anything. A whispered word, the passing scent of cologne, a song at a specific time of the day, the list goes on and on, you never really know what might kick a memory door open and fill your mind with visions of what has happened in your world.

This happened for me recently. I had gone to Youtube looking for something else (tricky memory, I can’t remember what I was looking for now) and stumbled upon the video for Disturbed’s version of The Sound of Silence. Of course I had to watch it.

All of a sudden memories flashed in my mind.

I can’t remember the name of the band and doing some Wiki searches I haven’t been able to find them but it was back in 1989, around October or November and I was at Mare Island California. I had a tape with a metal band that had done a cover of the song. This cover was very metal with growling lyrics and ripping guitars, so very much unlike the original and without the quality of the Disturbed version. But the door was kicked in.

In that moment I saw the squad bay I was in at the time. I knew my rack and locker. For a long time I still had the radio that I had then (JVC boom box that still worked over 20 years later). I felt the mattress as I lay back with headphones on and the words wormed their way into my mind and memories.

As memories do, these initial thoughts branched off and led me down a path through other aspects of the month I had spent on that base. We were about a half hour drive from San Francisco and I never made it to the city. You could probably chalk this up to the travel regrets I have accumulated over the years of the many places I have almost been to. You never really know, that could change at some point and I will finally see the almost seen places. But at the same time, new sights pop up that take the attention away again.

But I digress…

Anyway, the roads our memories can lead us down can be some very strange places. Especially in those times where we have nothing concrete to connect them with. I am not sure I am making the right connections here so I will dig in this a bit deeper (of course this has nothing to do with anything else but I am on a thought roll).

Sometimes our memories are connected to an emotion without the visual cues, like the smell of someone’s cologne. The relationship the emotional memory is based on was a bad one but their is no connection outside of the emotion in your thoughts. So you smell the cologne again and immediately dislike the person wearing it, without a concrete reason for it. The person did nothing to you but your memories are triggered and that is enough to push them away. Odd how that works.

And here I am following all sorts of odd and different passages of the mind while we talk about memories and songs. Which brings up another thought. The brain is a jungle of passages that have no clearly marked sign posts to tell us where we are going when we first pick up a trail. Like this post. I started out with clear thoughts about songs and the memories that they sparked for me and traveled down the rabbit hole into related but different aspects of the same thoughts. I either sound like a genius at this point… or a madman.


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