Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ask not what we do to history; ask what history does to us*

Some days, I think, should simply be re-written. Forgotten. Pages removed from The Book and dropped into the fire.

I tried to explain this to a Librarian once, and was threatened with excommunication and confiscation of all of my library cards for being a heretic. Librarians can be scary.

Mind you, some days, I want to be a Librarian too. "Fear me," I would say, and others would tremble as they handed their books back. Naturally, I would only use my Super Seekrit Reference-Finding Powers and my Mighty Data Mining Decoder Ring for good. Also, my cape would look suspiciously like a lace shawl.

Obviously, I digress.

I think what The Librarian didn't understand is that I wasn't implying that it was only the bad days that should be forgotten.

History is tomorrow's spoilers. "Doomed to repeat itself if forgotten" and all that.

On those days when it seems like there is nothing new in the world, nothing exciting that can make me want to do, to create, I curse my inconveniently good memory and beg to forget something that made me insanely happy so that I can rediscover it and be insanely happy about it again.

It's a slippery slope, I know. Remember that episode of Fantasy Island, where the couple wanted to fall in love again, so they were made to forget each other and they almost hooked up with the wrong people? I know I'm the sum of my experiences, of my history, and I like who I am, and I wouldn't erase a part of that. To quote a truth from an otherwise unfortunate movie, "I need my pain!"** Eventually, something else comes along that brings me joy again. I hold out for those moments, because if I lost hope in them, I would surely go crazy.

But still, there are some days...

...some days when I wonder if in order to experience true joy again, we first need to forget what it was like.

*A musing on the pendant What We Do To History, made by elisem.

**And just what does God need with a Starship, anyhow?

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