How Will You Remember?

I wonder what it is you will remember about me and what it is we remember about anyone at all. And how is it that some moments, some details, some way of movement, stick out in the shifting of the sand like land masses we measure ourselves against; how far we go from one another.

Everything this summer seemed to turn liquid and slip through my fingers. The tomato plants die, the ferns wilt, and nothing gets finished. I’ve made a life out of being idle and watching the horizon line. If I am taken away from the sea I am restless, confused, and useless.

When it comes to remembering, if I think about my own mother, it is the way her purse always smelled of cinnamon gum, how she folded toilet paper into squares, and the way she cuts celery for salads. Innocuous little actions and yet the entire world is tied to them as if by string.

When I remember this place what will it be? How an entire stretch of my life was kept in time by the tide or the feel of sand stuck to my feet inside? A tea kettle whistling or plants that always need to be watered. Will it be the first time we laid on this beach so long before we knew we would live here? Will it be the night I drew a bath and then laid on the tile floor to break my fever? Will it be watching you swim?

And how will you remember me here? Is it way I walk to the window while I brush my teeth or the way I roll basil leaves and slice them into ribbons? Will it be the sound of the typewriter that doesn’t work well or half empty coffee cups leaving rings on my books? No, it will surely be things I do not even know that I do. Because that is how it goes. We remember others unconscious acts more than anything else, because they are tea leaf readings of who they truly are when they believe no one else is watching.

I wonder then, what do we imprint on the people we keep close? What do we accidentally do to one another? I have been in love too many times to tell the difference between what we take and what we leave. I know myself only in relative relation, like someone set out to sea I measure my location by those very land masses. It is a virtue or a vice depending, like everything else, on how you choose to read this.

I do know that some day, not so far from now, we will be somewhere else entirely. My life is a constant process of my heart trying to catch up with my body. My mother says, the lessons teach you how to learn them. I think it is a lot to remind ourselves that every single thing we do will one day be something we miss, even and especially the things you do not expect to. It is very easy to forget and hard to remember that nothing stays the same.

2 Replies to “How Will You Remember?”

  1. I have often lingered over the idea of trying to know why certain moments and words stay with me and others are sifted out. It’s as if those that drift up to our consciousness at other moments are somehow connected. This web of experience and relationship and memory….life itself. Thank you for allowing your words to be part of my memories.

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