(This song has been playing on repeat in my house. I’ll upload it to the sidebar so you can listen, but you’ll have to wait until Bryant gets home because I’m having technical difficulty right now.)
Of all the random places to find this great poem, I found it hanging in a bathroom stall of a restaurant Bryant and I discovered recently.
Hey! My sidebar music player is back! And what’s amazing is that Bryant wasn’t even home to help me figure out how to get the music pumping. I actually did it BY MYSELF. ~Whoa~ Although, he was the one who helped me download it and connect it up and do basically all the confusing stuff I find so intimidating. That was over a month ago. And it’s taken me this long to put it in the sidebar. But still. I feel proud.
And I love the song I’ve got playing there now, in case you couldn’t tell.
School’s out. Finished the quarter. Happy with the work I did. Amazed at how much I learned. Thrilled to be done.
I always get “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper stuck in my head at this time of year. Cooper was once asked what the greatest three minutes of his life were. His response:
There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning. I said, “If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.” *
What’s funny is even after all these years, that feeling doesn’t change. Those last seconds, when you gather your bag, walk to the front, hand your exam to the professor, and then float as you push open the door of the lecture hall and walk into the sunlight… the release is unbelievable. And now, two days after my last exam, I keep getting that feeling of guilt for not using my time to catch up on reading, coupled with the surreal realization that there is no more reading to do.
Suddenly the things that were at the very bottom of the to-do list get promoted to the top. You never had time to do them before, and now they’re the most important things in front of you.
I like it a lot.
*I read that story here, which is the most reliable source in the world, I know. But it’s still a good story.
Driving home yesterday, I was wishing I was better at remembering. Remembering everything. Foreign languages, cranial nerves, the names of my friends’ siblings, and just the regular details of living.
I was thinking about the stories old couples tell. I love hearing them recount how they met fifty years ago, the hard times they went through together, the funny thing that happened that random day so long ago. I wish I could remember all the details of my life like that. I know they don’t remember everything, and their retellings likely change with time, but I am still amazed at the minutia they can conjure up. I was thinking as I drove, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to remember everything? To be able to tell those stories to your grandkids, so they could learn how you “knew it was right,” how you got where you are, and all that other good stuff. But I already feel like I’ve forgotten so much. So many of my memories are already hazy. I’ve never been terribly confident in my memory.
Really, we are our memories. All we are is what we remember. If every day, we forgot everything we knew from the day before, we’d never survive. I mean literally. We wouldn’t be able to do anything—walk, eat, talk. What we remember makes us who we are.
There in my car, wishing I could remember everything better, this quote from my favorite book came to mind: “Student of memory. I remember some things and have forgotten others.” I’ve always loved that. Something about it just feels right. It’s calming. And sitting there at a stoplight, I realized it’s ok to forget some things. If we are what we remember, I’m glad I’ve forgotten some things. I thought of this woman I saw on a show a while back (coincidentally, I can’t remember what show) who remembered everything she ever saw. It wasn’t just a photographic memory. She actually remembered everything. She said it was a curse. To never have traumatizing memories fade? To never be able to quiet your mind? I hadn’t ever considered it before then, but it seems being able to forget is a blessing.
I am a student of memory. I forget some things and remember others. I learn from the things I keep. I just hope the things I remember and the things I forget are the right ones. And I hope the things I remember stay in tact in my mind for a long, long time to come. (And I hope the material from my anatomy class stays in tact at least one more week… long enough to pass my last two exams.)
I’m feeling the urge for some Sunday evening quotes again. Too bad by the time I’m finally posting this, they’re not really “evening” quotes anymore… more like “ridiculously late Sunday night/early Monday morning” quotes. Ah well. Here are two that jumped out at me tonight as I fanned through my quote book.
I didn’t remember until just a minute ago that I quoted this E.M. Forster line in an old post on an old blog from what feels like an impossibly long time ago. It seems appropriate that the same quote that affected me then—as I first started plowing through this funk—affects me now, years later, as I’m finally emerging from it. I have a very different feeling about this quote now, though. It’s somehow more comforting and less ominous than it was then.
Here’s a quote for your Monday… or maybe I should say my Monday. It’s one of the many gentle nudges I had today that helped me get my week rolling in the right direction.