"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
for-get Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English forgietan, from for- + -gietan (akin to Old Norse geta to get)
1 a : to lose the remembrance of : be unable to think of or recall b obsolete : to cease from doing
2 : to treat with inattention or disregard
3 : what we can never do to some of our memories
Today, I thought about someone and could not remember their name.
The first time I ever "seriously" dated someone was in tenth grade. I had the great fortune of being a member of a group of kids from two different schools that merged into one high school. For each group, this made members of the other group kind of exotic in some way. And, for guys like me, the merger meant a fresh start.
Or at least half of one. I would take what I could get.
Within about a month or so, I had struck up a relationship with a darling young lady named Cindy Furlong. You know how first loves are, and this one was nothing different. It was brief, intense, and burned us both in short order.
Shame, that. She really didn't deserve to be treated that way. She really was a wonderful young lady, and I'll bet she still is.
But that's not why I am writing this tonight. I had no trouble remembering her name. And nice as she was, it wasn't her that wafted across my minds eye today.
No, it was another young lady, who was her best friend.
Don't even think I'm taking this anywhere near one of those "dump the girl for her best friend" tales. Nothing of the sort happened at all. But, while I was dating Cindy, I would give her friend a ride home from school each day. And we would talk, and I enjoyed it.
When things went sour between Cindy and myself it seemed like I had broken up with both of them, and in a way I had. Friendship is supposed to work like that.
And today, after years and years of not a thought at all, suddenly I remembered Cindy's friend.
Which bothered me, since I can see her face from twenty five years ago so clearly, I could sketch it, yet where the name should be, nothing but silence.
Thoughts can get all hung up in your head when that happens. If you could say "Oh, that was Tammy" then the memory would waft onward and you would be none the wiser ten minutes later. But when you can't put a part on where it should be, your mind runs in circles holding the thing like some kind of flag.
And then, out of the same nowhere the original memory sprung from...
The name. Well, maybe the name. It feels right, so I'm gonna go with it.
I gently label this gossamer wisp of thought, and let it float free, whole again at last.
Which is when I think of my second grade teacher, Miss ... uh ... DARN IT!
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.
Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)