Here we are in the last weeks of June… Summer has officially arrived, school is out for the season, the days grow a little more lazy and for the second year in a row I continue partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a question-and-answer theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. Still no planning. Still no writing of these words days in advance. Still just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 26th // Something You Want To Forget
I set up this list of June’s thirty “question” prompts at one random point about a year and a month ago, in late May 2011 I think, and at the time writing about something that I “want to forget” seemed like a good idea. The problem is — I realized, and I encountered this last year, too — is that forgetting is an odd sort of request. Forgetting implies remorse or negativity associated with something. We don’t forget — in other words — for positive reasons. We desire to forget to erase trauma or pain from our experiences.
This is particularly hard tack when one tries to live by the philosophy of learning from mistakes, or learning from negative experience overall. It is fairly much backwards to consider forgetting, when those experiences and the learning falling from them are those that might have taught us better ways of thinking or shaped who we are today. So then, forgetting — at least for me — seems moot and something I’d rather not do… generally.
There are other types of forgetting though… such as the forgetting of things that would be great to re-experience. To relive a moment because the memory of it was gone… that might be interesting. And since it is darn near impossible to forget-on-demand, an interesting thought-experiment to boot. In that way, saying that I’d like to forget — say — the plots and outcomes of some of my favourite novels might fit into such a list. I mean — and assuming I could make sure to read them again AFTER I’d forgotten I’d liked them — there are about half a dozen books I’d love to re-experience for the first time. And I suppose the same could hold true for a small handful of movies, television shows, and video games. Entertainment and popular culture fits well into this kind of forgetting-ness experiment.
An even more abstract kind of forgetting might be the kind of knowledge that ruins other kinds of knowledge in turn. Again, leaning on entertainment as a thought-experiment example, think of a television show you used to love. Then think of a show that is SO-MUCH-BETTER! Knowledge of the second show kinda ruins the first… in a way. Sometimes it would be great just to forget about the second show not because you don’t like the second show — because you do — but because the original pales in comparison and… blah, blah, blah. It is — in a way — a kind of loss of innocence, and is probably tied to the same type of micro-remorse associated with growing up and loosing your taste for simpler pleasures. The more you experience, the more you have to compare, and the simpler things you enjoyed and cherished first — well, they might not have been the best examples and DAMMIT if you could only just forget about the newer, greater, better stuff long enough to feel warm and fuzzy nostalgia for those things you used to love so much.
So? Well maybe what I really want to forget is this question.