Saturday, August 22, 2009

The commitment of remembering

I am reading "The Opposite of Love" by Julie Buxbaum. It looks girly - I have yet to determine if it will be an intelligent read or not.

However, I was struck by the description of memory and pain in the first chapter. The weight of memory has deeply marked my life, and I don't know if I've ever heard anyone describe it with as much accuracy as this:

"Maybe the aftermath of loss - the crumbs of memory - has, in some ways, scarred me more than the loss itself... This is who I am: someone who simultaneously longs for and fears the commitment of remembering. There is the forgetting, the disintegration of memory, morsel by morsel; and there is the impossibility of forgetting, the scar tissue, with its insulated layers of padding. Both haunt me in their own way."

I too long for and fear the commitment of remembering. The weight of my memories of Papua, of my home there, the deep love and relationships of that time and place..... those have been indescribably beautiful and thus extremely painful to carry since I said goodbye. I don't want to forget, but at the same time I hate this slow disintegration of memory.

And, because I know that indescribably beauty is possible, I long to build it into my life NOW but find myself constantly sabotaging myself because of the "fear of the commitment of remembering".

1 comment:

Annie Peterson said...

This makes me think of our need to just throw ourselves on the goodness of God, and ask Him to remind us that He is doing good things in us and with us. "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me" is one of my favorite promises when I'm tempted to feel like I've been dumped in the middle of the ocean, not quite sure about where I came from and with no idea of what it will be like where I'm going..."He will fulfill His purpose for me."