Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What a thing to remember
The curve of the staircase, the statuette on the landing
The way the sunlight gleams off the water past plate glass
The sepia royals that stood their ground, now vanquished
Their final resting spot, the charred cream walls.
But I remember the strangest things.
The lights of the tonga are an impatient camera blur.
Never again.

They are not the them people.
Takes two reads of the victim list to realize. The victim list. Oh.
Who’s the victim? Who’s that lady, burkha clad, knocking doors?

I forgive. I don’t forget. My bad.
Read Ashwini Bapat, the parent says. Concerned.
In the eight minutes that I squeeze in
Chopping the raw tomatoes, rolling out the dough.
Eight minutes.
But that’s another world. A story. Don’t worry.
That’s not me.
Singed once by fire.
of pretence. false feet.
I forgive. I don’t forget. My bad.
But there’s just so much you tell an 85 year old.
Don’t worry. Never again.


San said...

can you fully forgive if you don't forget?

Quin Browne said...

yes, you can.

not forgetting means you don't let it happen again...

norrbu said...

But there’s just so much you tell an 85 year old -- brilliant.

These perpetrators must be so screwed up in their heads.

Portia said...

a lot of pain in such beautiful words.

san has THE question. i ask myself alll the time. i think for me the answer is no.

with all the news you've been on my mind. it's good to come and see your voice here. so hello, love, and peace.

Anonymous said...

I forget a lot, except some violations, but even those memories fade - I am in my fifth decennium now. I can not forgive. If something or someone falls into this category it is over, I can not.

austere said...

mago- can a historian, a man of great learning, ever truly forget? he has the index of all lifetimes to peg experience into, he reads situations quicker, for nothing is really new, not really.

portia dear- honored to have you here again. how are the young ones. at some point, the grudge goes, the lesson stays. age!

norrbu- my 85 yr old is way too smart, reads betweens the lines oh so quickly!

quin o'mine; exactly. on the dot.

san- as quin said.life is a tapestry of so many threads, the other colors take over, that black speck remains, its there, but it doesn't bother you, you've made your peace. :)

Harry said...

I think I understand the philosophy of forgotten is forgiven. If you let someone off the hook for a particular trangression you shouldn't keep it in your back pocket. I'm just not sure everything is forgivable. I'm glad to see you are still here keeping the minutes Austereseeker. Stay safe.

AmitL said...


BTW,even I'm the same-I forgive,but,I don't forget!!And,then,I end up thinking'Did I really forgive?'.

The back's better,btw.

austere said...

amit- :) good about the back. that's quite an admission, now.

harry- good to see you here. the lessons one keeps - and in my case periodically dusts, turns the pages; else karma- evolutionwise, what's the point?

Baby Island said...


I've recently had a commenter on my own blog speak of forgiveness..

I struggle with it daily. I hold a grudge, but it fades, I just never forget. So forgiving and forgetting, semantics. Perspective.

Be safe and take care.

Muah, Baby Island

austere said...

Yesterday in the hot afternoon I stood outside the burnt out Taj, and I felt the anger rise.
No, it never goes away, not completely.