Fellow blogger Matthew at Normal Happenings was kind enough to challenge us recently to respond to one of their blog prompts called “Daily Inklings,” and I’ve decided to take them up on it—mostly because the prompt relates directly to Kingdom Hearts, and I’m presently thinking about nothing else, so it’s fitting.
The prompt for today’s blog reads as follows:
“Scattered Dream.” Tell us about about a chain of memories in your life that, because so much time has passed, you’re suspicious has gotten out of order.
The prompt is then followed by this amazing quote from Kingdom Hearts II:
“A scattered dream that’s like a far-off memory. A far-off memory that’s like a scattered dream. I want to line the pieces up—yours and mine.”
I especially love this prompt—not only because I enjoy discussing and thinking about memory, but because it’s also one of many key themes of the Kingdom Hearts franchise that first attracted me to its universe.
I’m going to play around with this prompt a bit and rework what’s being asked for the sake of my personal experience with memory and how I relate to it. I feel that our memory is what we are—life is about experiences and how we perceive those experiences and process them. That information then gets filed away in our memory banks, and it becomes a part of our identity. Our memory is arguably who we are—it’s what defines our perspective, our emotions, and our inner monologue.
The truth is I’ve always had a terrible memory. I’m not sure why, but I feel like things come and go rapidly in my brain, and what sticks often feels totally random and inexplicable. I’m prone to strong, intense emotions (for better or worse), and so, my memories are typically sensory. How did I feel in that moment? What did I hear? What did I smell? I relate key experiences in my life to people and places, just like everyone else, but also to the music I was listening to at that time, the films I was watching, etc.
As a creatively inclined person, I tend to tie the art I was in love with at each respective point in my life to all the memories I have of that time. For this reason, it’s not always clear to me when certain memories actually took place in my life. I very frequently get exact facts muddled or confused, and because of my self-destructive love for embellishment, I often completely fabricate things. Maybe because I just want my life to be like the lives I’ve seen in the art I love, or maybe because life is so fucking boring. I’m not sure which it is. But my friends will often come in to correct me, “No, that’s not what happened.”
Sometimes, they let it slide—a smirk forming at the corners of their mouths, seeing through my bullshit. I’m forever grateful for the friends who do this for me. The reality is memories aren’t always as grand and fabulous as we picture them in the movie theaters of our minds, and it’s fun to throw in a little excitement where needed. But I’m getting sidetracked.
This prompt sort of freaked me out, because it made me realize a lot of my memories seem distant, and when I really try and focus on memories from each year I’ve been sentient on this planet, it’s tough for me to recall more than a handful from each stage of my life. What I did realize, however, is that the key memories I’ve held on to—the moments in which my mental camera shutter clicked—are really crucial to making me who I am.
These memories are sacred to me—and even though they often feel far away when I attempt to recall them, I can remember the sensory portions of them. This magic enables me to revisit that moment, as foggy as it may be, and feel those feelings and live in that experience again. There’s nothing more powerful than that. It’s the closest thing to time travel we have.
The Kingdom Hearts games think of memory as I do—important pieces of the puzzle that is our identity, our soul. There’s a great moment in Kingdom Hearts II that especially resonates with me. Sora is standing on the platform at Twilight Town Station with Pence, Olette, and Hayner, waiting to take the train out of town that will begin his adventure. Before he boards, Hayner asks Sora if he’s sure they hadn’t met before, to which Sora responds that he’s fairly positive they had not. Suddenly, a tear streams down Sora’s face as he beams back at the three friends. Of course, this is Roxas, from within Sora, weeping at the sight of his closest friends and leaving them.
If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I apologize, but those of you who do will know the exact moment I’m talking about, as it’s a fan favorite. I really was moved by this moment, because the greater concept at work deeply touched me. Those of us plagued with fuzzy memories, those of us with disease and mental illness—we can still reach deeply within ourselves and find those experiences lingering in our soul and hearts.
There are some things we never forget—some things we never get out of order. Our friends, for example, never really leave us; they’re with us always. This is a theme the Kingdom Hearts franchise touches on regularly, and another reason I find the series so powerful. As time passes and we get older, the pictures from our past may blur, but there are some elements that will always remain in crystal-clear focus. Love, laughter, friendship—these are the most vivid colors on our mental canvas, and time cannot dull them.
I know this hasn’t really been a proper response to the exact question the prompt was asking, but this is what came to mind when I read it. I hope you’ve enjoyed these reflections, even if they were super serious and not specifically video game-related. But play Kingdom Hearts and go check out Normal Happenings! I thank them again for putting us up to this challenge, it was a delight.
Thanks for reading.
If you’d like to read more about our thoughts on Kingdom Hearts, click here.