Temps Perdu – on deja vu and Dorothy Parker

I have been experiencing some odd feelings of deja vu in the last few weeks. Trying to explain them to a friend, I struggled and frankly  sounded slightly odd.

Perhaps this was because in every day terms we have come to use the phrase ‘deja vu’ in a slightly flimsy, inaccurate way. Reading more about it for this post, it seems it is a phenomenon that is still open to a myriad interpretations. It is not simply a trick of the mind, or false memory that gives us a shiver at the time and which can easily be laughed off. At the most scientific level, it can be an aspect of epileptic episodes; at the least evidence based end of the spectrum it is evidence of reincarnation. I don’t believe either of these describe my sensations, which are rather more prosaic.

I can’t explain easily what I have been experiencing, but as an example I might be driving into my home town and have the sense that I am driving into somewhere completely different, albeit subtly so. (It might be nice to drive into Wellington and imagine it is Rome, but sadly that level of fantasy is beyond me.) Does that make sense? It is almost as if it is a memory that is struggling to reconnect with my current life but each time I try and grasp at it to find out what it is trying to show me it slips away.

Recently I have also found myself sensitised to old photos; to fading roses; to songs and classical music; all of which currently have a greater power to bring on a fit of melancholy. I have also been thinking about what happens ‘from now on in’ – after all there are only so many new careers you can try, and at my age I ought to settle on something and stick to it…. Continue reading “Temps Perdu – on deja vu and Dorothy Parker”