The little things we don’t want to forget

“Paris is always a good idea.”
– Audrey Hepburn

I have always loved sunsets. It’s a calm time, when you can breathe easy knowing you made it through another 24 hours and reflect on what you have experienced this day. What made you laugh? What did you see that your mind focused on enough to store in your memory bank? Who were those seven kids who ran down the road ahead of you this evening, what’s their story? What smelled good, and how about that godawful smell from the “poubelles”?

I was walking back from the store today and while turning my head to the left to check for cars before crossing the street I saw the most perfect sunset colours between two tall buildings in my neighbourhood. Mid-blue sky on top, pinkish to darker pink with cloud vapors in the middle and a rich, molten and absolutely perfect gold at the bottom. The pedestrian light turned from red to green, but I stood rooted to the spot and just stared at the sky. People rushed by me to cross (this is Paris after all and walking the streets is considered a noble extreme sport here), and I was left behind like the slightly weird hippie foreigner I am. I stood there and my brain was calm and chaotic at the same time. I thought “I didn’t bring my phone, I can’t take a picture” then “maybe that’s a good thing, now I -have to- just enjoy it” then “but I’ll probably forget all about it by tomorrow if I don’t jot it down somewhere… I don’t want to forget this. I really don’t want to forget this.”

From there my mind went to wondering how many of these little moments I had already forgotten. I will never know. There’s probably hundreds. No matter how much I want to remember something, somehow it’s not up to me. Which is probably why I’ve always been “that person” who saves everything. Every little note from class, every picture, writes down which songs we listened to where. I’ve always been nostalgic. A bit too nostalgic. Sometimes it’s been good, I can remind people of happy things, conjure up a memory of funny situations and give a great speech involving old friends.

“No matter how much I want to remember something, somehow it’s not up to me.”

Sometimes it’s not so great. When the memories take over and the good ones cause as much pain the bad ones, maybe even more so… Sometimes I’m happy that I don’t remember what I’ve forgotten. It can probably be for the best… But then I think my emotions are pretty much what gives my life meaning. The people I love and miss that make me feel less alone in the world. The situations and memories that make me feel my life is not nothing. The times that make me remember that “I too was here”.

Like this sunset. It’s something I don’t want to forget. At some point in the future I will remember the time I stood by Avenue d’Italie, listened to Fakear’s song “Ankara” on my little, pink iPod Shuffle with my busted up headphone wires that almost have no plastic left around them and just soaked up the sight of the slight-to-darker pink and incredible gold colour in the sky.

A beautifully colorful sunset over Notre Dame Cathedral and the River Seine in Paris.

PS: Like I said, I didn’t have a camera, so I went online and stole one of my favourite images of Paris. This picture belongs to Elia Locardi.

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