The very definition of life was how things were going to happen. It was both incredibly hopeful and also, completely unnerving. Things were going to happen; we were going to cross paths with others, we were going to be happy, and we were going to laugh, and that was going to change to give way for newer things to happen. It was the cost of life—this sordid temporariness. It was an outrageous ask, but it was the way things often are: outside of our control. So, what could we do? We could watch. We could remember what we could remember. Memory was a gift if looked upon not as an archive but a museum.
Deep within the forest of my thoughts, on a clearing one can only reach when they’re lost, open two gilded gates to the museum of everything that once was. Sometimes I sneak into it at night to look at everything without the glass display, without supervision. I touch the sunshine of the last days of March when I laughed. I move my hands through my dog’s fur, something I would never be able to do again. I watch the rain arrive again, and we throw the umbrella down to get drenched again. Only, this time, in this remembering, I do it right. I do it with all my faculties intact, all my senses focused only on what is happening. Sometimes, I pass by exhibits I don’t recall. It makes me disappointed in a way one feels disappointed when they’re flipping through an old album to find a missing picture. Often, they don’t remember what was there, but the loss of memory was the gravest loss of all.
How much have I forgotten? How much did I fail to record? I have always been too focused on recording it all. I often missed things happening right in front of me. There were gaps in my memory. I did not know what to fill them with anymore. All I could do was imagine and smile—there must have been something sweet there. We only forgot the sweetest things. So, I plant some flowers in them. I find solace in that; it tells me things were good once; it tells me things can be good again.
Only this time, my eyes are wide open, I intend on not missing a thing, and when things have to change, I plan on letting them do just that. I have been a terrible curator, but things change.