The problem with me is that I cannot focus when she is on my mind. I can't. I probably will make a mistake when writing that paper and will start writing everything I feel about her-the professor will be very happy with that, I am sure. Oh well, such is my life. I guess I've been attempting my best to forget her for several weeks now. But even in that act of forgetting her, I am remembering her. I am recollecting her and recreating her in my mind. And that's where everything falls apart. In remembering her, I remember her goodness. In remembering her, I remember her weaknesses and my own. In remembering her, I am remembering myself. Out of that dark cave of mine, I call myself out. And then all of the remembering starts again. I doodle, I twitch, I aim restlessly for some unseen goal. And then my thoughts drift to you. I'll let them stay there for now. Just for a minute. Or two.
Moses Y. Mikheyev
It is very difficult in quarreling to be certain in either one what the other one is remembering. It is very often astonishing to each one quarreling to find out what the other one was remembering for quarreling. Mostly in quarreling not any one is finding out what the other one is remembering for quarreling, what the other one is remembering from quarreling.
And I was remembering that time in our lives together, the time of those ritual walks. I was remembering the way it feels at just that moment when you begin to turn, when you're poised exactly between the things in life you want to do and those you need to do, and it seems for a few blessed seconds that they are all going to be the same.
Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began, as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth. Also, it began through the process of seeing, and feeling, and hearing, and smelling, and touching, and then remembering--I mean remembering in words--what these perceptual experiences were like, while trying to describe the endless invisible fears and desires of our inner lives.
I look deep into her rich brown eyes and she look into mine. Law, she got old-soul eyes, like she done lived a thousand years. And I swear I see, down inside, the woman she gone grow up to be. She is tall and straight. She is proud. She got a better haircut. And she is remembering the words I put in her head. Remembering as a full-grown woman.
Tarrou had "lost the match, " as he put it. But what had he, Rieux, won? No more than the experience of having known plague and remembering it, of having known friendship and remembering it, of knowing affection and being destined one day to remember it. So all a man could win in the conflict between plague and life was knowledge and memories. But Tarrou, perhaps, would have called that winning the match.
The way to live in the present is to remember that "This too shall pass." When you experience joy, remembering that "This too shall pass" helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that "This too shall pass" reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.
Each death laid a dreadful charge of complicity on the living; each death was incongenerous, its guilt irreducible, its sadness immortal; a bracelet of bright hair about the bone. I did not pray for her, because prayer has no efficacy; I did not cry for her, because only extroverts cry twice; I sat in the silence of that night, that infinite hostility to man, to permanence, to love, remembering her, remembering her.
When hungry, do not throw yourself upon food - else you will overload your heart and body. Eat slowly, without avidity, with reflection to the glory of God, remembering the God Who feeds us, and above all His incorruptible food, His Body and Blood, that out of love He has given Himself to us in food and drink, remembering also the holy word of the Gospel.
John of Kronstadt
Then he took the pages, smoothed them with the palm of his hand, and fixed them with pins to the walls. So that now, if he sat looking down upon Grape Street, the letters and images encircled him. And it was while he sat here, scarcely moving, that he was in hell and no one knew it. At such times the future became so clear that it was as if he were remembering it, remembering it in place of the past which he could no longer describe. But there was in any case no future and no past, only the unspeakable misery of his own self.
What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives? They have never entered into mine, but into yours, we thought--Haven't we all to struggle against life's daily greyness, against pettiness, against mechanical cheerfulness, against suspicion? I struggle by remembering my friends; others I have known by remembering some place--some beloved place or tree--we thought you one of these.
E. M. Forster
Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
I've been looking so long at these pictures of you That I almost believe that they're real I've been living so long with my pictures of you That I almost believe that the pictures are All I can feel Remembering You standing quiet in the rain As I ran to your heart to be near And we kissed as the sky fell in Holding you close How I always held close in your fear Remembering You running soft through the night You were bigger and brighter and wider than snow And screamed at the make-believe Screamed at the sky And you finally found all your courage To let it all go Remembering You fallen into my arms Crying for the death of your heart You were stone white So delicate Lost in the cold You were always so lost in the dark Remembering You how you used to be Slow drowned You were angels So much more than everything Hold for the last time then slip away quietly Open my eyes But I never see anything If only I'd thought of the right words I could have held on to your heart If only I'd thought of the right words I wouldn't be breaking apart All my pictures of you Looking so long at these pictures of you But I never hold on to your heart Looking so long for the words to be true But always just breaking apart My pictures of you There was nothing in the world That I ever wanted more Than to feel you deep in my heart There was nothing in the world That I ever wanted more Than to never feel the breaking apart All my pictures of you
I did some research on this a couple years ago," Augustus continued. "I was wondering if everybody could be remembered. Like, if we got organized, and assigned a certain number of corpses to each living person, would there be enough living people to remember all the dead people?" "And are there?" "Sure, anyone can name fourteen dead people. But we're disorganized mourners, so a lot of people end up remembering Shakespeare and no one ends up remembering the person he wrote Sonnet Fifty-five about
I did some research on this a couple years ago, " Augustus continued. "I was wondering if everybody could be remembered. Like, if we got organized, and assigned a certain number of corpses to each living person, would there be enough living people to remember all the dead people?" "And are there?" "Sure, anyone can name fourteen dead people. But we're disorganized mourners, so a lot of people end up remembering Shakespeare and no one ends up remembering the person he wrote Sonnet Fifty-five about
More than almost anything else, the experience of parenthood exposes the gulf between our experiencing and remembering selves. Our experiencing selves tell researchers that we prefer doing the dishes - or napping, or shopping, or answering emails - to spending time with our kids. (I am very specifically referring here to Kahneman's study of 909 Texas women.) But our remembering selves tell researchers that no one - and nothing - provides us with so much joy as our children. It may not be the happiness we live day to day, but it's the happiness we think about, the happiness we summon and remember, the stuff that makes up our life-tales.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything-all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure-these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
The important thing for the remembering author is not what he experienced, but the weaving of his memory, the Penelope work of recollection. Or should one call it, rather, the Penelope work of forgetting?... And is not his work of spontaneous recollection, in which remembrance is the woof and forgetting the warp, a counterpart to Penelope's work rather than its likeness? For here the day unravels what the night has woven. When we awake each morning, we hold in our hands, usually weakly and loosely, but a few fringes of the tapestry of a lived life, as loomed for us by forgetting. However, with our purposeful activity and, even more, our purposive remembering each day unravels the web and the ornaments of forgetting.