Forgotten Things

“‘Sometimes people lose more than just socks, Sandy…You don’t remember all things and you don’t find all things. Those things end up here, like the touch and smell of someone, the memory of their exact face, and the sound of their voice…’ A thought suddenly occurred to me. ‘Have you ever heard your own laughter or cries?’ Helena nodded sadly. ‘Many times…’ 

She smiled. ‘Well, I had the great privilege of being loved by many people. The more people who love you, the more people you have out there to lose memories of you. Don’t make that face…It’s not as desperate as it sounds. People don’t intend to lose memories…It could be that the real sound of my laughter has been replaced by a new memory, or that, when a few months after I went missing my scent left my bedroom and my clothes, the scent they tried so hard to remember was altered. I’m sure the image I have of my own mother’s face is very different from how she actually looked but, forty years on and no reminder, how is my mind supposed to know, exactly? You can’t hold on to all things forever, no matter how hard you grip them…All the same,’ Helena looked up to the now bright sky with tears in her eyes, ‘you do sometimes feel like catching them and throwing them back to where they came from. Our memories are the only contact we have. We can hug, kiss, laugh, and cry with them over and over again in our minds. They’re very precious things to have.’

Chuckles, hisses, snorts, and giggles filtered through the air, floating by our ears on the wind, the light breeze carrying the faint scents like the forgotten smell of a childhood home; a kitchen after a day’s baking. There’s a mother’s forgotten smell of her baby, now grown up…There are older, musty smells of favorite grandparents…There are smells of lost lovers: sweet perfumes and aftershaves, the scent of sleepy morning lie-ins or simply the unexplainable individual scent left behind in a room. Personal smells as precious as the people themselves. All the aromas that had gone missing in people’s lives had ended up here.”
There’s No Place Like Here
by Cecelia Ahern

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Contemplation of a face..

“There was a slight greasy sheen on the tip of her small, neat nose and a spattering of tiny red spots on her forehead, but these aside there was no denying that her face–well, her face was a wonder. With her eyes closed he found that he couldn’t recall their exact colour, only that they were large and bright and humorous, like the two creases in the corners of her wide mouth, deep parentheses that deepened when she smiled, which seemed to be often. Smooth, pink mottled cheeks, pillows of flesh that looked as if they would be warm to the touch. No lipstick but soft, raspberry-coloured lips that she kept tightly closed when she smiled as if she didn’t want to show her teeth, which were a little large for her mouth, the front tooth slightly chipped, all of this giving the impression that she was holding something back, laughter or a clever remark or a fantastic secret joke.”

-David Nicholls
One Day

Get it right.

Okay, I have another snobbish attribute to fess up to. I cannot stand it when something is misquoted, taken out of context, etc.

Like any stereotypical girl my age, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, and lately there is this pin that keeps popping up with a picture of Robert Pattinson holding a book and it has this quote about dating a girl who reads. Every time I see this and a comment underneath saying something about how he can now be redeemed for saying this, I just want to slap somebody. Am I aware that this is a slight overreaction? Yes. But I can’t help it…

Does nobody check their facts?!

My problem with this is that he never said that. It’s an excerpt from a written piece by Rosemarie Urquico that I happen to love (although I might not recommend lying for the sake of syntax, because that is good for no relationship), and which says:

You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses, she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to an end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again, and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 am, clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to The Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want a world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

See?Let’s be honest here–do you really think Robert Pattinson said all that?No. I don’t think so somehow. While I embarrassedly admit that I had a slight obsession with him during my sophomore year of high school, I still just can’t really believe that he would say that.

Just…no.

Always check your facts before you pin something like that gush about how amazing it is. Because if you don’t, I will be there to burst your bubble and comment on your wrongness.
Sorry, not sorry.

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“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.”-Hans Christian Andersen

Don’t ask me why I feel like sharing this with you, because I don’t really know.

One of my favorite stories is The Little Mermaid. While I enjoy the Disney film version to the extent that I know all the songs by heart, I am actually referring to the original fairytale, Den Lille Havfrue, by Hans Christian Andersen. In fact, although I think I forgot to mention it, visiting the commemorative statue in Denmark is on my bucket list.

I actually love the original story because it is so much more meaningful…
You see, it is a love story, but is also about a quest for immortality.
The little mermaid, upon her fifteenth birthday, is allowed to go to the surface for the first time, and when she does she falls in love with a prince on a boat. Then, just like with Disney, the big storm comes, and she saves his life, taking him to the front of a temple and disappearing as soon as she is sure someone discovers him.
Once she returns to the depths of the sea, the little mermaid is filled with questions about life and death and love. She goes to her grandmother, who tells her that humans have a much shorter lifespan than mermaids, yet they also have an immortal soul–they live forever once their bodies die, yet the mermaid turns into seafoam and ceases to exist in any way.
Never having thought about it before, the little mermaid is alarmed to learn that nothing will become of her when she dies. As she thinks about it, she becomes desperate for an immortal soul. That’s why she goes to the sea witch, who exchanges a potion to give her legs for her voice. Once she has legs, it will cause her almost unbearable pain to walk on them. She also has to find her true love and marry him in order to gain her immortal soul, otherwise she will die of a broken heart.
On land, the little mermaid meets the prince, who is fascinated by her and cannot deny her beauty, but it all comes to nothing as the prince prepares to marry a foreign princess. The little mermaid is devastated and waiting for her death to come as the witch had predicted. Her sisters come, telling her that they made a deal with the witch so that all she has to do is take a knife and kill the prince, letting his blood soak her feet, and then she can return to life in the sea. But her love for the prince will not allow her to kill him, so she allows herself to dissolve into foam in the sea when dawn breaks. Yet as she closes her eyes, she can feel the warmth of the sun. She did not cease to exist, but became a spirit of the air because of her sincere efforts to obtain immortality.

Image“I would give gladly all the hundreds of years that I have to live, to be
a human being only for one day, and to have the hope of knowing the
happiness of that glorious world above the stars.”
The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen

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