The holy ghost haunting you.
Whatever you got, I don't mind.
- Over the Rhine
Usually when I'm hit with an unexpected dose of inspiration, I make a note of it on the notes app on my iphone. More often than not, this occurs when the lights are out and my eyes are closed and I'm trying to drift into dreamland. But recently, I've found myself making notes of everything. I used to have the best memory. Now I can't remember anything. Here is a list of notes I made over the last few months word for word-- the totally random things I thought were important enough to remember:
1. Pay credit card bill - January 4th, 1:38 PM
2. "You'll never know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks." - Eskimo Proverb - January 2nd, 9:00 PM
3. Download Johhny Cash "Ain't no grave" (Someone sang this at my father's funeral. Obviously NOT Johnny Cash.) - January 1st, 4:46 PM
4. Make a list of all the happy memories I have of my brother and I together. - December 30th, 10:17 AM
5. I wish there was a pill or an injection to cure eating disorders. - December 29th, 1:19 AM
6. Number 99, Just as I am - December 26th, 1:52 PM
7. John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey. Spirit of God descending on Jesus like a dove. - December 26th, 12:55 AM
8. Get a pet mini donkey. - December 25th, 6:41 PM
9. Get a pet capybara. He's a love machine but can't be left alone. Needs lots of water. Vegetarian. Vitamin C. - December 25th, 6:34 PM
10. Get a pygmy goat. - December 25th, 6:26 PM
11. Look for a new belt for my fella. - December 25th, 1:19 AM
12. "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37 - December 25th, 1:14 AM
13. Whoever I was then I can't ever be again. - December 23rd, 11:35 PM
14. When I worked at the hospital, each time a newborn baby came into the world they played nursery music over the intercom. - December 15th, 11:40 PM
15. x amount of sweet potato = x amount of calories - November 16th, 4:33 PM (Obviously a bad day...)
16. Irony of working in hospital while anorexic and bulimic. Irony of being sick and shrinking to nothing with doctors and nurses all around me. - November 12th, 2010 11:48 PM
17. Soymilk. Apple Butter. Sweet Potato. Squash. Zucchini. Garlic. Onion. Banana. Cauliflower. Grapes. Vegan mayo. Chickpeas. Rosemary. Avocado. Mushrooms. Carrots. - November 12th, 11:13 PM
18. Zicam cuts colds short. - November 8th, 10:52 AM
19. Sleepytime vanilla. - October 16th, 11:56 PM
20. There's never a testimony without a test. - September 25th, 7:32 PM
21. List things that are worse than being fat. Shark attacks. Car crashes. Natural Disasters. Drowning. Being sick. - September 15th, 10:39 AM
22. "Don't dream it, be it." - September 23rd, 1:06 PM
23. I'm afraid of being wrong. - September 23rd, 12:42 PM
24. Yoga. Pumpkin Soy Latte. Joan Didion. Begin editing. Laundry. Gym. Blog. Read. Sleep. - September 22nd, 8:57 AM
25. Tooth brush. Cat food. Cough drops. - August 21st, 3:22 PM
26. Eat at Akasha in Culver City and order the vegan onion rings. - August 17th, 12:32 AM
27. Persians are love machines. Can only be house kitty. No street smarts. - July 29th, 11:37 AM
28. You ate. - July 28th, 4:48 PM (Not sure why I made a note of this, but I have a feeling it was a very bad day.)
This made me think, what is the importance of memory? What do the things we choose to remember say about us? I think this list has something important to say about who I am.
I've been thinking a lot about my eating disorder lately. Next to the death of my father, it has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Still, when I look back on it, why do I have a tendency to only remember the good things and forget the bad? It's hard for me to remember my lowest points. It's hard for me to remember how sick I used to be, how scared, how miserable. It's hard for me to remember just how little I ate. It's hard to imagine myself slung over the toilet throwing up time after time after time. Sitting on the rug afterward crying. Crying because I felt guilty, crying because I felt no one understood. Crying because I felt helpless and alone. It's hard for me to remember, but that doesn't make it any less real.
Maybe it's hard to remember because the pain of experiencing it once was bad enough.
Maybe it's hard to remember because deep down I want to forget.
But is it good to forget altogether? Or are the bad experiences of the past meant to teach us something about the future?
I don't have the answer. What do you think?