It’s amazing, the power of a song, a smell, a memory.
Triggering a fond memory or nightmare.
Funny that a Walkman would be mentioned, I was listening to the radio while driving my son to practice two days ago. On the radio, Men at Work “It’s a Mistake” came on as it has countless times, but this time (probably because of the “kid” association, a memory from long ago struck me. I suddenly remembered a cousin having one of the first Walkman cassette players, with the Men at Work “Cargo” album inside. Cued up? “It’s a Mistake”. 35 years later and that little incident is still fresh in the memory. Definitely a happy time, and I think I still owe her a set of batteries. Kinda ran those dry. And suddenly my day got better.
Conversely, a while back a gent walked by me, his after shave almost made me vomit.
It took me back to a particularly nasty sexual assault investigation. The perpetrator wore the same after shave, and lots of it. But his words suddenly filled my ears again, the description of his actions, his fantasies, all the photos on his computer, and worse yet, the victims actions and reactions.
The evidence photos burned into my memory, the visions of the bruising and battering, the victims sobbing, all came back in nightmares for a couple of weeks.
Many times, it’s the little things that can make all the difference in the world.
Playing a simple game of cards, music, reading a favorite book that one has read countless times. That association with “better times” or normalcy in the face of adversity and hardship.
There’s a reason most police cars have a teddy bear in the trunk, to help kids deal with adversity and tragedy.
One may not think of a teddy bear as survival gear, but it can be as important for someones mental survival as a knife and ferro rod for wilderness survival.
Little things like a cup of cocoa, a charged iPod, a jigsaw puzzle, can make misery bearable.