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On Laughter and Forgetting

There are points in your life where you just have to laugh and forget otherwise you would cry yourself into confusion and then into death. A slow death caused by too much over thinking.

A few days ago I stood a little heartbroken but today I am convinced that I am only a little seasick trying to manage the ups and downs of emotion. It’s too soon for me to be in love to now be heartbroken and I know this because I still experience love as an invasion.

But there is no denying that this sudden seasickness is a sign of hope. That like you, there is a want in me to find someone to love and to love fully but for me, it must be without sacrifice. I am unwilling to compromise myself – my values, my need for deep conversation and my curiosity – to simply be a good girlfriend or a good wife. It must also come easy and slip into my life as if it had always been there or not at all.

And as I wait for things to come to me I have secretly evolved myself into a new method of living. I have learned to trick myself into forgetting in order to stop the past from invading my experience of the future. I am training myself to experience the newness of the moment without preconceived blindness. A few days after I had started to play with this idea I came across similar thoughts in Nietzsche’s essay on active forgetting.

According to Nietzsche, active forgetting is a process in which a past measure is abandoned and a new measure is continually reconstituted on the basis of new experiences. We don’t use our past experience of something to measure the present. Instead, we allow our new experience of something to become the measure of that experience. In this way, the measure is perpetually rediscovered and is kept in sync with the difference that time introduces.

This form of living asks us to trust ourselves and our innate wisdom so that we are able to move into the new and experience a type of perpetual rebirth. Fear becomes secondary and not a primary mover.

In order to actively forget I do one of three things. I either fall purposefully into a mundane routine like cleaning the house, or I relabel my emotions by connecting them to other experiences that are less personal, or I look for the beautiful (like turning towards the beautiful plum tree in the adjacent courtyard brimming with heavy fruit – the small plums, a warm nude color with rosy blemishes – reminding me that new life pushes forth, past all the concrete and set ways of living.)

I forget in order to know and in order to invite the future in.

I feel that remembering is a way of knowing myself while forgetting is a way of knowing the world around me and I am what lies in-between. I make it my practice to hold things and my experience lightly and I practice seeing it for what it is – beautiful and impermanent, on loan for me from the universe for only a short time.

The laughter comes when the distance caused by forgetting allows me to look back and see things from a larger perspective. I realize that for a moment there I had been mistaken and I am able to find the humor and move past the pain.

These days forgetting seems to be what propels my movement forward. I forget so that I can breathe. I forget to put my thoughts to sleep instead of over thinking. I forget that I never was a writer so that I can write in peace. I forget that my heart was broken so that can love again. I don’t repress, I play to loosen my thoughts and their grip on me until I can shake them off.

I find forgetting to be a more compassionate form of forgiveness than trying to understand why. I don’t think I will ever live one life long enough to understand why. So I forget and move on into my imagination which is what compliments my living and is the place that all the newness is born. The past no longer bruising the present moment as it unfolds.

With Love,


*Originally written in my journal on the 11th of July, 2018. 

** The photograph was taken in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. 

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