It’s not often we do follow this advice. Sure, we do it all the time in our daily lives, keeping in mind this and that, letting knowledge and information be used as it’s relevant to us – like studying for a test you need to pass. The question is if you’re able to remember much of this at a later point unless it’s still something that affects you. And what about outdated information, something that used to hold value but in later time have either proven to be incorrect or been debunked in favor of new and updated relevant know-how? Do you make a point of remembering that?
This in turn brings us over to scholars and historians. Holding a degree in neither one of these professions myself, I cannot help but find a strange comfort that the past isn’t something I hold a clinging grip on. As it comes to my own past and my own memories, they are somewhat fractured. I’ve stated several times that recollection isn’t my strong suit and that I’ve often been forced to be reminded of something that should not have been forgotten in the first place. I'm used to it. Doesn't mean I have to like it.
And what about lies? Telling them, polishing them, retelling them, knowing who you said what to… Information can be a tricky business, that’s for sure. No information broker for me, thank you very much – I’ve got enough half-truths to keep track of already. This doesn’t even begin with the lies others are keeping.
When it comes to art, does the actor on stage preform a lie? Is theatre anything but an elaborate twist of shadows and smoke, casting a ghastly reflection in the mirror of recollection? That’s a good question, but one I'm not entitled to answer.
Languages. Important stuff. The millions of things that you have to deal with. Passwords. Codes. Friends. Family. Loved ones. Secrets. Hopes, dreams, future plans… There’s quite the lot, isn’t it? Big bunch of stuff. Yeah. Almost everything, when you come to think about it.
There’s a famous – if not THE most famous – writer from my country that ended up with this exceptional quote: “Forever owned is only the lost.” (Evig eies kun det tapte.) That’s Ibsen, by the way, if you didn’t know that. Shame on you, oh-that-must-have-slipped-my-mind. Shame on you. Also, in the LARP (Live Action Role Playing) community there’s this version of the saying; “forever owned is only the taped”. And by “taped” we mean duct tape. Lots of it. Lots and lots of duct tape. And then some more. Funny how memory works sometimes, isn't it?
In the end it comes down to a simple, single point. You’ll end up not remembering. Accepting that as truth can be somewhat difficult.
Forgetting is easy.
Too easy, sometimes.
Yet we still do it.
I guess that’s part of being Human.