keta / KAY-tah / n

keta /KAY-tah/
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.

You are immersed in the passage of time. Sometimes you can feel the current moving. Sometimes you forget it’s there, only to be reminded again, another in a series of passing moments.  A moment is defined by its momentum.  It keeps moving.  We think of a memory as somehow dead.  As a memorial, anchored in its own time and place. A half buried reminder of what was once here.  You can’t just hang on to things. You have to let go. You have to move on.  It’s hard to imagine that certain memories are still alive. Still fighting against the current. Struggling to keep up.  That certain images still have the power to leap back into the present.  So you look across the room at someone you know.  Maybe they’re all grown up. Maybe they have children of their own.  Maybe you’ve known them for 50 years.  But in your eyes they are still the same goofy kid you once knew.  It’s not just the moments that we remember.  Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It’s the invisible things. In minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time.  These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth. Still developing.

~ John Koenig

Source: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
See more by John Koenig: Sunday Morning: Sonder


  1. Wow. I sure do learn a lot from you, David. Thanks.


  2. “…the cheap raw material of ordinary time.” This is sticking with me. Thank you.


  3. Same line tha caught me! This was great. I come from a family who loves to reminisce! Same stories, year after year…..we remember because they are repeated so often. Lol.


  4. There is a word to describe every obscure, fleeting, and half-realized activity of my mind. Amazing.


  5. i love this word and he has described it perfectly. i think our memories are part of us forever, we just rarely access some of them and are surprised when they leap to the forefront once again in an instant.


  6. I loved your post, and the authors use of the imagery and how all of the words are put to the video. I also found it interesting how he used the salmon predominately, especially when referring to the current of time. An interesting website as well, thanks for sharing! So much to like about this one …


    • Thank you Keith. In full disclosure, I didn’t recall seeing the Salmon and certainly didn’t make any connection to their currents and time and their life cycle and how it related to ours. Blushed when I read your comment. Thank you for pointing this out. Watched it 2x after you shared this. Amazing eye-opening insight. Have a great weekend.


  7. “You are immersed in the passage of time”…and we are continually creating “what was once here.” I was really touched by this post. It seems that the passage of time has a new meaning for me now that the children are all grown and life is different now. A very moving post, David, thank you.


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