Forgetting

Long swaths of my life have gone missing, experiences unremembered
in my rush to attend to the next exuberant undertaking that will join
the other forgotten ones in the chase toward the unwanted end.

Do we all fail to give sufficient attention to our own memories that we let
them slip away unrecorded, or am I alone guilty of treating life and
love and the fabric of wisdom with undue disrespect?

If I could go back in time, I’d train myself to keep and analyze a journal
of my life, a running recollection of the magnificent and the mundane that,
taken together, form the perspectives that define me.

But, absent the ability to mine that life script, I rely only on conjecture
as to the accolades and aching wounds, the life-altering experiences,
that molded me into this vessel of love and hate.

I can only wonder about what formed this urn, this hideaway in
which grace and beauty compete for space and relevance with
crudity and self-imposed disfigurement.

The lessons, too late learned, chide me for the naked hubris of
thinking I would remember every precious moment of joy and
each excruciating second of its empty absence.

Forgotten moments are like knives that cut and pierce the threads
that bind us to our humanity; lost memories rob us of the generous
spirit we long to find in ourselves.

Experiences we do not remember shaped us; if we had used
the early lessons to craft and validate the later ones, we might
have become more than egos in bags of skin.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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