There are places we go that pass through our memory without a second thought. And then there are the places that are imprinted on our minds, like the light that burns itself into the gelatin emulsion of camera film. Those memories are the negatives, and every time we recall one, that negative comes to life as a picture in front of us.
What makes these memories...memories? Can anyone really say? Why is it that these are the ones that stick with us? Was it that something about the light—the way it highlighted the strands of your hair that blew across your face and clung to your cheeks? Or was it the way that you felt your breath, heart, and footsteps all moving at once?
Can I tell you a secret? We may never know.
What I do know is that you rarely notice when you’re creating a memory. The shutter doesn’t manually go off letting us know that we’ve captured a moment. Rather, life is like setting the lens to a timer that clicks away at odd intervals, so you never know what might be captured. That’s because those true, deep memories are lived. You don’t step out of that experience to capture it; you stay in it and only realize later what a beautiful thing you’ve preserved.
We often wonder about missing some of these moments. Whether it's circumstance or choice that takes us away from those occasions that are ripe for preservation, eventually, the reality that sand never stops falling through the narrow neck of life’s hourglass grips us and we find ourselves looking into the distance pondering our why.
In a poetic letter to his children, ultrarunner, Trevor Fuchs, touches on some of these themes in Gnarly Nutrition’s short film—part of Gnarly’s Fuel for Life series of original films. The film also highlights the difficulty of preserving what you love when it becomes your livelihood and what it might look like if you step away from it.