Tuesday, January 13, 2009

on memory and forgetting

because i know you've surely forgotten about me.

every so often, lovely partner says, "you should blog about that." but i haven't been.

i'm a little jaded with the internets lately. i've stopped paying attention to my rss feed. and it began feeling like this sucking, demanding force that just had no business trying to take up my time. i've just had no patience.

and so i've been away from here. and so many things have happened. obama. gaza. the new year. my mother's death anniversary. i shaved my head...

and then this weekend i visited my good friend who is very weak with illness, preparing to cross over.

she is really the main person who inspired and encouraged my cancer opera. visiting with her was hard; it's always awkward, figuring out whether to show up or leave some space, what to say, where to sit, how to talk, whether to laugh or cry. it brought back so many memories of being with my mother in this same month, seven years ago, of sitting with my friend and sharing stories, of eating cheap but good chinese food at the back of a market, of telling myself, "just listen to her talk about what you fear. it's important to her now, and it will become important to you in the future."

and meanwhile, another type of memory nags at me. so comparatively mundane and trivial: my memory of words. the lines i must say in the play. it's going up on 1/23. usually, i memorize lines pretty easily, remembering about 70% just from showing up to rehearsal. and then only i need a few hours on my own to hammer it all out. but this role... not only is it very little dialogue--i'm mostly talking to myself--i talk under other characters, so i have to listen as i talk. in addition, a lot of what she says is nonsense or repetitive. i've been running lines at any spare moment, in my car, the shower, waiting in line, and just when i am by myself at home.... last night, though, the director followed along with my lines as we did a line-through (where you only say the words from memory as fast as possible to see where you need work), after we were done, she turned to me and said, "it's almost impossible to follow along, let alone remember and say your lines..." so, we've come up with some ways to alleviate the strain on my memory.

it's not lost on me that my lovely partner is an historian, and here i am writing about memory and forgetting. and as i reflect on what is behind, i see us on the cusp of what lies ahead.

forward ho.

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