Hit on my head by the Twister
Everything is transformed by my increased awareness--even the act of forgetting. The other day I came across a brand of striped milk chocolate biscuits that I used to buy in England and realized I've forgotten things from that time. I have an above average memory and can clearly recall details from the years before and since. The days from other times in my life stretch like pearls on necklaces across my mind. I can finger through them, assess them--judge the weight of their orbs.
For my years abroad the chain is broken--the days are scattered, the line frayed and cut.
What's interesting is that I'd forgotten this time period when I lived abroad once before because of a trauma that formed the hard seed-nut kernel at its center. In order not to think of it I'd blocked out whole timelines that added up to YEARS of lost time. This was full-fledged amnesia: my mind's way of saving itself from itself. When the memories did come back it was like a giant wave--uprooting and eradicating anything weak and flimsy that I'd put up in its path and leaving only the hunks of self like uncovered boulders in the sand. What was left was garbage mixed with the dredges from the salty depths of my unconscious. The end was inside the beginning and the past was inside the present.
I remembered everything for a little while. The pathetic details were splayed out--grotesquely--giving me nightmares of butchery, and psychopathic unraveling in which my body parts fell off, piece by piece.
(edgar allen poe--u dont stop. clive barker--u dont stop)
Now the forgetting is a choice--
It must be the times or the season as it seems so many others are doing the same thing--choosing to forget and let go, allowing themselves to relax into the way of being that pleases them most.
In fact, choosing to forget is a part of the new change in America. We're forgetting that we are supposed to be sick--and fat and stupid and silent. We're forgetting to be locked up by narrow ways of thinking.
It's not the kind of forgetting of previous generations--the ones that tried to bury the terrible truth of slavery and rape--a history of lies that helped spawn a new level of war and hate--in vietnam and in other countries where american didnt belong
It was the beatniks and feminists and the civil rights protesters and hippies of the 50s and 60s who made everyone remember--let it be the wide eyed innocents of today who chose to forget
(put the book back on the shelf)
There's something intriguing about amnesia. The world feels filled with forbidding shadows, looming like dark, nameless ghosts. For me, having it was an experience of the Lacanian Real (the foreboding presence of the limits of expression and sense--like 9/11 or a zombie or the Wizard of Oz). The amnesia was an annihilation of the self--and thereby a chance to rebuild it. I have several characters whose lives are changed because of a sudden remembrance. Sterling forgot the entire existence of her twin brother who drowned in a leaf covered pool in front of her when she was very young. After his death she had taken to calling herself by his name--Sterling--and her grief-stricken parents stopped correcting her as they erased all traces of her brother ever having existed.
I had her remember him again at the ocean--and it's to the ocean she returns when she needs to think something out.
ARK also forgets a tragedy: he doesn't remember a thing from 9/11, although he was covered in white dust when he finally came home that day on his bike. They asked him what happened but he would only stare back at them blankly and say the same thing, over and over:
"Run--do not walk."