Forgetfulness: What were you saying?

Is there anyone who, like me, often finds herself in the next room, looking around wonderingly, why did I come in here anyway?

Let’s put it another way, is there anyone who doesn’t often find themselves in the next room, looking around wonderingly, why did I come in here anyway?

Perhaps terrible traumatic memories never leave when you’d be only too happy if they would. But memory of useful things — the appointment this morning; the name of the person saying hello to you on the street, whom you know you’ve known for ages; what you came to get in the refrigerator, as the door stands open and the ketchup and the chili sauce stare coldly at you — these things fade faster and faster.

Billy Collins, an American poet laureate, nailed it with his poem “Forgetfulness”. While I still remember, let me link the animated video right here so you can enjoy it too:

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7 Responses to Forgetfulness: What were you saying?

  1. I posted about memories this week, too. I just wish everyone would remember to cherish their memories… even the bitter and painful ones. After all, it is our memories that make us the people we are blessed with being today!



  2. pauline says:

    Fear of losing memories is one reason I started writing down the words… I often find myself forgetting all sorts of things. I can be mid-sentence and suddenly realize I’ve forgotten the point of what I was saying! It’s disconcerting. I do crossword puzzles to reassure myself that the brain is still functioning and I am constantly writing my memories down so that they are not entirely lost. My family often disagrees with how I remember things involving them – just goes to show how selective (and subjective) our memory can be.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      “I can be mid-sentence and……”
      Oh, too true! Quite a short thought, just from HERE to THERE — but stopped dead, memoryless, in the middle! It was Bette Davis who’s credited with saying, Old age is not for wimps. (P.S. Like today’s profile photo, P. No wimp she!)


  3. AgnesFulton says:

    Thank you for pointing me to this film/poem. I love the Lake Woebegon voice and the comfort of knowing others know what I know – that memories slip away. However be comforted – they can be rekindled in an instant by a particular smell or sound, by music or a certain coincidence of circumstances.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Lovely memories? Or otherwise emotional ones? I agree.
      It’s the everyday things — where did I leave the eyeglasses? what happened to the keys?— that drive me crazy. ‘-) I ask you to excuse the inescapable pragmatist in me; one reason I like Billy Collins so much is his mix of the everyday with the profound. Thanks so much for writing!


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Agnes/Venetia: That’s so cleverly perceptive about the Lake Woebegon voice — is that what Garrison Keillor sounds like? I know about G.K. and have read his books, but haven’t heard him. I was really struck in the Youtube by Billy Collins’ flat delivery. Not exactly off-putting, but surprising.


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