As I read through some of my older posts, I realize that this is a blog about memory as much as about anything. I am obsessed with memory. I carry a little moleskin notebook in my back pocket. Memories flash back into my mind, and I write them down immediately in my notebook. Memories of Miles as a boy, of something he said, of something we did together. I am obsessed with recording everything I can of him, all the bits and pieces.
I wonder to myself what I will remember years from now. I worry about what I might forget. Writing things down helps. By recounting episodes of my life with Miles through music on this blog, I can preserve special and sometimes seemingly inconsequential moments from our life together and come back to it later in the hopes that doing so will make it real and alive again.
I worry so much that I will forget certain things. The way he moved. The way he talked. The way he sat quietly and read. The way the room felt when he walked into it. The way the house changed when he jumped up the front stairs and he walked inside. The way he skated and rode his snowboard. The way he smelled. The way he looked asleep as a young man, a boy, a baby. Sometimes I imagine him walking into the room with me and sitting down. I imagine seeing him skating down at the end of the block while I walk through town. I stave off forgetting by always remembering, constantly bringing his presence back to me to ensure that it is possible and that is his presence is more than a thought, that it is always palpable and real.
I kept a journal for eleven years. I loved writing in it and I really enjoy reading it. Each page is a day. Page one is January 1. Page two is January 2, etc. Each page has five lines for you to write about each day. The top five lines were for 1997. The next five lines were for 1998, and the next five lines were for 1999, etc. I wrote nearly every day for eleven years, 1997 to 2007. Miles was a tiny baby when I started, just a few weeks old. I recorded births, deaths, weddings, and special events. I recorded what we did on tragic days like September 11, 2001. I can read about a day—just a few lines I jotted down at the end of the day after getting the boys in bed asleep—and by reading just a few lines, the whole day can unfold in my imagination. A summer walk. An autumn trip in the car. A wintry day when school was cancelled. A spring afternoon when Arjun visited. A broken bone or stitches. A pleasant dinner. A trip to Wheeling. Moving into a new house and making new friends.
I remember the tragic days well. How can you forget? I do not need to write down some events because they will always be burned into my memory. But I try to write down the incidental moments of conversations or encounters on a walk that elude my consciousness and pop into my head unexpectedly. I write them down so I can revisit them and revisit the memories.
I like this song. Don’t forget me. How can I? Never. None of you, ever.