For some people, the forgotten song is one they sung for years and years before “life” got in the way. Or a dream they used to chase until disappointments and sadnesses blurred out the memory of the dream until only vague pictures and scenes were left.
For some, it’s the joy found in simple things, before life got so complicated.
Little things, like cloudy days. Or a simple mug of hot chocolate while the rain falls outside. Taking the time to drink in all the beauty that is to be found in open seas, grassy meadows, magnificent forests. Things are spectacular as the waves rushing in on a stormy night, or the simple stark beauty of a bright red starfish sitting in a rocky tide pool at dawn.
Little moments of solitude, with nothing more than a cup of tea and stillness.
Or the simple thread of melody from a favorite piece of music. Playing that melody over and over and never getting sick of it. Singing the words that fit so well to that beautiful melody… and then lending the CD to your friends to listen, too.
Or falling so deeply and surely in love.
Or simply being happy.
But what happened? One morning, you awoke, feeling that something was terribly wrong. Throughout the day, try to sing it like you’d always done, but find that for whatever reason, you couldn’t. It’s out of tune, the words are all wrong, the rhythm can’t be felt, and the magic is gone.
It’s like that one book you read over and over when you were a child. The words flowed together so smoothly, and the story held you enthralled through many rainy weekends. The pages became dog-eared and wrinkled from the love you gave it. You could recite whole passages from it, that’s how well you knew it.
Then one morning, as you got older, you suddenly realized that you hadn’t read that story, or even thought about it, for a while. You tried to recall passages and scenes, and only vague pictures came up.
Perhaps you felt like Lucy of the Chronicles of Narnia, where during one of her journeys she read a story “for the refreshment of the spirit.” However, she realized that the magician’s book she was reading wouldn’t let her turn backwards to read it again.
How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can’t remember and what should I do?
— C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader
What should you do, indeed?
It was so easy and the words so sweet
Or was it that the words were meanwhile slipping away day after day while life became more and more muddled and confused?
You spend half of your life trying to fall behind
Or just… falling out of love.
There are those around you who asked, Did we even ever have a favorite song? Doubts creep in. There are those that choose to forget, opting instead to fill their lives with motion blur and noise so as to prevent the awareness of the dissonance to creep in.
You’re using your headphones to drown out your mind
Oh, to be blind, and deaf, and to forget all that one once knew…
We’re too busy, and it’s too hard to move.
However, maybe you are different. The thought of not remembering, not knowing, not feeling that thing which was a part of yourself for so long before you lost it almost drives you to desperation.
Many of us, instead, are searching for the words to that favorite song. Hearing someone pass us on the street, humming the tune, we turn our heads, hoping to catch it before it goes. A simple black and white photograph catches our attention… but then we discard it when the words don’t come. Or maybe a friend inadvertently speaks a sentence that sparks a faint memory. “What did you say?” We lean forward.
As if listening for some faint and faraway sound.
You can’t remember, you try to feel the beat.
It’s a maddening, maddening itch you can’t scratch. And so, you continue to search.
After all, we can bear the sadness.
It’s the emptiness of forgetting that we can’t stand.
And the encouraging reminder that there are others who have found theirs.
You can’t remember, you try to move your feet
And when you do find it, it will be like coming alive.
I also credit Maggie for the inspiration. She is an awesome lady, who is going to China to serve others. I know that she will do awesome things for God, and inspire so many others while she does it. Read her blog!
Further credit goes to Regina Spektor, who wrote the beautiful song on which this blog post is based.