I'm looking for a word to describe the way things affect (afflict?) me. The best I can come up with at the moment is "hyperassociation". There are times -- and this is one of them -- when everything that assails my senses seems to drag my mind back to another time, and at the same time drag my emotions headlong into the feelings associated with that time; not remembering the feelings (can you meaningfully remember a feeling without experiencing it again?) but feeling them. If the feelings are too strong, they make me unable to concentrate on the present; I get trapped in flashbacks of my own life.
Light, voices, music, smells, textures, colours can all have this effect; without any warning I'll be seized by the feelings of some past occasion, and it's only after a few minutes (if at all) that I'll identify what actually produced this flashback. Seasonal things produce this effect more strongly, because they repeat and reinforce previous associations while adding new ones. The weight of Summer alone is enough to slow my walk and bow my head.
Sometimes all the voices of remembered conversations are so loud that all I can hear above the din is myself silently screaming. And sometimes it feels as though every touch of a hand has been felt before, is a thousand past touches all rolled into one; every cry, every open mouth, every body rocked with passions is one and the same.
Myths feed on this kind of association; archetypes and thrice-told tales wind through the millennia like Ariadne's silver threads, so that on one level every mother, every lover, is linked to every other. This is how we find our way through the labyrinth of human experience; we light candles to guide our way, we look to the light ahead and the light behind, lights set outside time. (The power of Patrick's breastplate, armour borrowed or beaten from history: Christ before me, Christ behind me.)
I wish I could sit down and work this out, think about this before saying it rather than just thinking out loud here. But I feel like if I think too hard and too clearly, look directly at these things, they disappear into the mist.