It’s almost unbelievable.
To remember what’s forgotten.
To be separated from those you love for so long and forgetting what it’s like to be with them.
You forget the nuances of their voice. The tonal inflections. The cadence.
You forget what it’s like to stand next to them.
Sharing a space together.
You forget how to position your body. How much personal space to give. You become extra aware of how close you stand by them.
You forget what it is like to walk with them.
The pace of our stroll. The patterns of our footfalls. The syncopated steps, strangely synced together by odd time signatures. We are percussionists. Our rhythms have so happened to line up in a time like this.
You forget what it’s like to talk to them.
The art of storytelling. Where did we leave off? Which chapter did we bookmark? Which episode? Don’t worry, I’ll re-watch it with you.
You forget what it feels like to make eye contact with them.
The strangeness. The tension. Who breaks contact first. The trust. The intimacy.
The inability to explain what it means but the sureness of knowing it meant something.
You forget what it is like to share a silence.
The nagging of our consciences to fill the emptiness.
The release when you discover that the emptiness is actually already filled.
The vibrant, colorful dialogue exchanged between two souls at a loss for words.
The richness of silence.
Precious stones. Hidden, yet we somehow have found them together.
You forget who they are.
And yet, you don’t.
You learn, and then you learn again.
You taste the sweetness of second and third times.
Fourth. Fifth. Sixth times.
Eventually, you wonder if each time will be your last.
You wonder if they remember. You wonder how much they forgot.
You wonder if you’ve remembered too much.
You wonder if they haven’t remembered enough.
You wonder if there even is a balance.
You ask yourself if it’s worth the heartache to remember. If you should just try to forget.
You realize that you have no choice but to remember, anyways.
You forget and you remember.
“What is a farewell even?”, you ask yourself.
You figure the human soul was never meant to say goodbye.
So you stop.
You never leave, yet you are always going.
You try finding home. Or building one.
Then you run away.
You protect your heart, for it must be far too frail. You wonder if other souls are as fragile.
You never leave.
You keep them at arm’s distance.
You give up.
The tragedy that we were never meant to bid farewells, yet we have no choice but to do so.
You accept the inevitability of heartbreak.
That perhaps, this is the human curse.
You see the forgotten beauty of remembering. That the world has remembered how to forget and forgotten how to remember.
You collect memories like a child collects toys.
And the toys have names. They have life. They have distinct personalities and you know how each of them would respond to your jokes. To your sorrows. To your battle cries.
“Are they real?”, you often ponder. Sometimes you even ask them.
You realize that they ask the same question, themselves.
Perhaps we’ll never know.
But then, you decide to remember.
You forget, yet you never really forget.
You invent heaven into a place with no goodbyes.
You start to realize why you wander and tread the earth. And why even as you travel, your baggage is yet so heavy.
You understand you were never meant for this world anyways.
You accept that home was never here to begin with.
You begin to see that you’re just a pilgrim, of sorts.
A time traveler.
Originally published on the reverie on November 23rd, 2017.