Alice was back in my house again after seven long years. She’d arrived just the last week on the doorstep, looking older and hoping I’d be able to rejoin our fractured lives again. So far I’d let her in but we hadn’t really connected.
We’d been parted abruptly, we lost each other suddenly like when a glacier finally cracks after years as a moraine and melts and falls into the sea. I’d gone first, melted by a sudden change in the weather and left her behind still frozen the status quo of life we’d become. Sure I loved her, but having melted away, I could not go back. Try as I might, I could not remember or feel the same things or go back in time.
So it went on like that. In the first year of our fracture I’d been to Japan and saturated myself in Saki, Sushi and to recover, climbed the slopes of Mt Fuji. Every day I’d look for a dose of exotica to help cover over the memories of the life I’d given up. I went to India and up and down streets with crowds of Hindu at holi festivals, but never once to temple. Which I probably should have. Still I’d been faithful to her and I knew eventually we had to get back together. It was just a question of time perhaps.
Having melted into the ocean of possibility, knowledge and experience, I’d lost my structure and purpose. I couldn’t get Alice back or my life for that matter. Even the travel, although refreshing didn’t put it all back together. As the years went by it became easier, but colder and more distant, even from myself. Anyway, here I was in my fairly comfortable home and Alice had found me somehow, yet so far I hadn’t really found her.
I opened the door to get some fresh air. It was dark out but I needed to walk. Down the path a little and around toward little creek at the back of the property. Flowers seem to have a glow and brightness as the sun retreats for the night. In the evening under stars flickering their petals glow softly but defiantly against the surrounding dark. Dark full of sounds of frogs and moving things but still with the chill of the night air. There the flowers stood bravely against the darkness, and the star centered scented flowers shone quietly into my mind. I hadn’t forgotten her, I’d missed her badly, but she that I missed was not the one that I’d left. But there was music there, that uncanny Dido’s Lament came to mind. Where Dido laments that she be remembered, but not for the way she left the world.
I turned then to go back to the house with that lament by Purcell running through that blue petals image in my mind.
“Remember me, Remember me,
but ah ah forget my fate,
remember me but ah..
forget my fate.”
How sad would that be, I thought, that if only we were parted forever, that I should forget her fate. We really must try to find it again. The lights were on and I slid the door open and stepped inside and still there was Alice, looking carefully at my face … smiling…hopefully.
Photo: “Forget-me-not” copyright, Diane Cordell, used with permission.