Passage

If the whole world I once could see
On free soil stand, with the people free
Then to the moment might I say,
Linger awhile. . .so fair thou art.
โ€• Goethe, Faust, First Part

She asks me if I recognise her, to which, I reply with my signature awkward smile, that drives away both our feelings of comfort and security. My mother comes to our rescue saying, “She was only a baby, she probably doesn’t remember” and to me, “This is so-and-so, she’s known you ever since you were a month old!” And they proceed to go on and on about how children grow up so fast and how my brother probably remembers her because he was older. This happens with a few more people who have apparently known me since I was an infant, incapable of speech or forming cohesive memories and yet they seem shocked and insulted, when my mother has to bail me out of my apparent memory loss.

“Look who’s here! Remember me? I used to play…” Their sentence fades into the background cacophony of numerous humans catching up on days unseen entities snatched from them. I see a shade of sorrow pass over her face for a split second, as she lays eyes on my reluctantly lost face, before she replaces it with a winning smile, one that has probably comforted many before me. And strikes up a conversation with my mother, who saves us both, yet again.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.
โ€• F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

In this small but endless sea of humans, it seems I’m the only one who seems despicably incapable of remembering names and faces of people who have apparently watched and kept tabs on my growth and non-existent progress in life. There’s something hauntingly comforting about being surrounded by people you called ‘family’ at one point, who then blended into the huge family we all have but have never known or are yet to get acquainted with. Neighbors, friends and cousins who have all risen to the rank of family with prolonged hours of conversation and help provided, when needed the most.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
โ€• Kurt Vonnegut

It’s funny how time has barely moved for me in the past few years and yet, the space I’ve covered in everybody’s eyes is so enormous that memories have failed to provide a firm base when I needed them the most. I insulted more than a few people today, women, children and an elderly person too, owing to my seemingly congenital inclination to forgetfulness, awkwardness and overthinking respectively.

Friends catch up on years they missed, the little kids eat dessert and play while the men remark on economics and politics discussing how the pandemic has affected their businesses and women share stories ranging from kidnaps to a burnt cake while the youth talk about movies and indulge themselves in photography and other, worldly talks.

I stand there, utterly and completely lost, just because I was born in the wrong year rendering me too old to recall the faces that must have, once supplied me with boundless love and kindness, and too young to fall into the women circle or appear robust and youthful with the cousins. I’m just the right age that places me in a bubble of my own, either too old or too young to join any group and I witness the sea of humans before me, each making memories of their own that will soon be a part of their respective passages in life.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

We, that is, the same group of people that have gathered here today, will come together again someday; maybe not on earth, or perhaps for the funeral of that man who seemed pale and frail today. They’d lose themselves in talks, of how finite life is. We’ll all ponder on the etherealness of death and sermons of mortality will continue to haunt our thoughts, till we ourselves are given the honor of partaking in death’s magnificent journey.

โ€œWhen he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.โ€
โ€• William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

But then too, men and women will go around asking those younger than them, those kids they had doted on, all those years ago, what would seem like a few days to the young ones. “Oh, dear! Bless my eyes, is that dear old Pete?” to which, once little Pete would go, “Yes, that’s me” quite nonchalantly, and they’d fake a smile, “Don’t you remember me, son? I used to help tie your shoelaces when you were a wee toddler!” to which Pete would have no choice but apologise for his lapse of memory.

Another smile would be flashed and it would all be pushed apart as a regular daily occurrence, not minding how those few words might have probably broken that old man’s heart, how the few memories he’d treasured weren’t cherished mutually.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The worst memories stick with us, while the nice ones always seem to slip through our fingers.
โ€• Rachel Vincent, My Soul to Save

They say change is a part of life, that it’s a cornerstone of nature. And it is. I’m no prophet but I can imagine myself all grown up and asking a teenager, I’d once held and loved as a baby, if she remembers me, and leaving with an injured smile at her lack of memory.

I can see the cycle repeating, a cycle where change itself has apparently forgotten to make an appearance.

I wish more than anything, I could accompany these kind souls in reminiscing the good, old days and end our poignant banter with a word of gratitude for every second, they spent, with and for, baby me but life betrays me when I need it the most, to show me the past, not to relive it, but to glorify it for the sake of one little question, into which a tremendous amount of hope, love and thoughtfulness has been invested in.

Time is the longest distance between two places.
โ€• Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

A few but mere seconds have passed and while I’m still standing in the place I’ve been for the past 10 minutes, I see how much I’ve grown in the eyes of the dying man, who had asked me how old I was, only to be told, he used to carry me around when I was an infant and was forced to satiate his heart with, what I hope, was a tender and grateful smile on my part.

How cruel is life, permitting the making of priceless memories but forbidding them from crossing the thresholds of man’s memory when called for?

He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.โ€
โ€• Gabriel Garcรญa Mรกrquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Thoughtfully yours,
-Introverted Thoughts aka D

80 thoughts on “Passage

  1. Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece. Very thoughtful and I like how you said you live in your own bubble, I totally resonate. Excellent writing as always D, much love ๐Ÿค๐Ÿค

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful writing – memories is such a crucial part of who we are. I love books such as ‘The Memory Police’ which looks at – in a very abstract fashion – what happens when out memories disappear. Personally, I am not good at remembering names and faces. And we are not talking about someone I met as a toddler, but also people I met recently. So I reckon, I’ve had considerably more awkward situations than you ๐Ÿ˜† Anyway, I loved this post, such an interesting angle.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, I absolutely agree! That sounds intriguing, I need to check it out soon!
      I think I’m managing it better than when I was a kid, though๐Ÿ˜‚ Aw, that’s fun and awkward at the same time!
      Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always I enjoyed reading this post D. I could totally relate with this. The past doesn’t come to my memory when I needed it most. ๐Ÿ˜ญ And it’s a struggle! You’ve said it all with beautiful quotes. โฃ๏ธโฃ๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

  4. D, a thoughtful, well-written post. Magnificent quotes! I like the empathetic tone when you talk about the old people who remember you as a small child. Children are born to replace their parents. Your generation is replacing them. You wisely commented that the children who you meet now may not remember you at a future family gathering, and you may not recognize them all grown up! Great job, D! โค โค โค

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you think so!
      The least I can do to make sure I don’t forget more is to write about them. I don’t necessarily believe in replacing, I rather consider it as more of a continuation of a story.
      Aw.. thank you! It’s scary and intriguing to imagine how the world and life would be a few years from now.
      Thank you so much for your kind and introspective comment!!โค๏ธโค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you think so! Why the emphasis on very, if you don’t mind me asking?
      Now that I’m a little older, I remember conversations and certain words very vividly. I tend to connect a person with a specific word sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‚ I still struggle with faces but I’m okay-ish with names, I think.
      Thank you so much for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand. Family can be really… interesting. I wonder why people say that, I used to this and that when you were a potato? I never do, because I always think this child or person hbe no business remembering me, honestly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you do. Absolutely! It’s incredible how so many different individuals are born into one family.
      I think it’s their way of looking back on life, especially when they meet a person with whom they’ve made a lot of memories.
      That’s interesting and considerate on your part, but I think questions like those prompt children to explore their lived lives more?
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your views!

      Like

  6. The worst memories should serve me to work on myself, while the beautiful ones admonish me what I wanted and yet did not achieve.

    Answer to: – Rachel Vincent, the soul does not have to be saved through me, it was without me before and after.

    Everyone should look after their memories, even if I helped someone, perhaps up the stairs.

    The subjective moment can be experienced by people in their history, in their own time.

    Surely a lot of hope, love and thought has been invested in me. My doubt tells me, not as a question, was it, is it really meant to you by others.

    Time is there, accessible to everyone, in the place where woman, child and man stand with both feet on earth.

    Reply to: – Tennessee Williams,

    My father didn’t recognize me when he was dying. My mother went there without a word.

    Life is not cruel, it is man who overcomes death and misery, wants to live forever, against the law, against nature, that everything is perishable.

    It is good to know that a thought placed in one’s own heart can never conquer the bad in us and in the world and that the good, as its sibling, is committed to humility.

    And that there is no trick that enables people to bear the burden of their own past for themselves.

    Reply to: – Gabriel Garcรญa Mรกrquez,

    without the harsh term, the word of love, in our time of the pandemic, war, murder, rape of women and children, oppression and dictatorships, the mighty, the stupid, spiritual mighty men and women.

    Best regards
    Hans

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have beautiful prose D.

    I wish I didn’t relate to this, but man, it’s so true. In my own family, I’m the oldest grandchild, (by like, 5 years,) and definitely nowhere near the age of the adults. And then, in my church, where I have a lot of people my age, I feel a sense of maturity. I’m not trying to say that I’m better than those teenagers, but I simply have grown out of the immature worries that they have. Also, I’m a lot older than most bloggers. And then I also run a stuffed animal blog, which is probably something that most people see me as immature for…

    I don’t really know where I was going with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Diamond!

      I’m glad you could. Wow, we’re similar there, except I’m the youngest in my family. Aw..me too! I think a lot of it is because I didn’t necessarily grow up with them, I was always the person standing at the back waiting for whatever it was to get over๐Ÿ˜‚
      Not quite! I have a vague feeling we’re both the same age but with the growing access to technology, there are so many children around in the blogosphere but it doesn’t quite make teens older. I don’t think it’s immature at all, not only because you make them seem so real (if it weren’t for their photos, I would have thought they were real people ๐Ÿ˜‚) but because of how long you’ve had them.

      I enjoyed reading it all the same. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts!โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are not a prophet, you are a born writer. Unique as you are, you will always be by yourself, outside ANY group of people. I hope that you are busy writing many books and that you like solitude, your true companion.
    As long as you write, I will keep on reading.
    Thank you.

    Joanna
    PS Funny, that I remember the best of Garcia’s book is the garlic!

    Liked by 3 people

    • That means so much to me, Joanna. I do love writing but sometimes it seems as if I’ve run out of ideas. Aw.. thank you so much!! I’m not sure if I’ll write books but I relate to loving solitude (and music) so much.
      Thank you ever so much for your constant encouragement!

      That’s interesting! I haven’t read the book mentioned in this post but I loved his ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’!

      Like

      • Writing does not mean just writing imaginary stories but also writing as if you were talking to someone. Just how you have done in your post. As you know “there is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway, I think you will find your destiny soon

        Joanna

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, Joanna. This post was an experiment on a friend’s suggestion on writing creative fiction and I’m happy it turned out okay.
        That’s one of my favourite quotes indeed. Ernest Hemingway has such a straightforward and poignant style it’s a pleasure to have him quoted.
        Thank you very much!

        Like

  9. Hi, D, great post as always. My guess is this: life is not cruel, but generous to prevent us from holding on to memories at such an early age. Who knows how many moments of neglect, despair, fear, anger, & uncertainty (from parents) we may have collected, in addition to the few good memories? ๐ŸŒž

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much!
      That is quite an interesting perspective! But I feel like at that age, memories are more good than bad? Of course it varies according to the person ultimately.
      One of my teachers once told our class, ” Life is very complicated. Don’t try to find answers because when you do, life changes the questions”
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your insights!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Really relatable, super profound, and beautifully written. What more can I say? ๐Ÿ–ค
    Life is full of people who come and go, but those who mean the most to us will always have a special place in our heart.

    Like

  11. This is a thought provoking post. I love how you intertwined age and life phases with memory and how the little things becomes our most treasured memory. I guess when you think of this again in some years time, you would see through another lens of time. You write so well and it’s always a pleasure to read your works ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your an artist with words, D! Every time, and I love the quotes you incorporated with this. And you made some incredible points and I wish I could remember all of those memories sometimes.. so that they could smile that we remembered..
    *hugs
    -kaelyn ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

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