there is a particular film (many of us know it) starring Jim Carrey in a rare serious role and Kate Winslet with whimsical-colored hair.

i think about this concept often, the idea that if we erase all the memories of a painful lost love, we can be free.

the progression of the movie follows the erasing of Joel’s (Jim Carrey) memories in a semi-reverse-chronology. we see the fights, the disquiet, the clash of personalities. we see them turn into the “dining dead,” the point in a relationship when you eat your food at the restaurant and avoid eye contact and the silence is only broken by talking about removing hair from the shower drain. we see the thought process of “why did i ever fall in love with this person?”

and then the memories get deeper, get closer to the beginning. the laughter, the treasured hope, the parades, running in the snow. all the way back to how they met, the thoughts running through their heads. the hesitation and excitement. the beauty in the mundane. the reassuring words underneath the bedcovers, the journal entries, the drawings, the inside jokes and games.

and then the plea from within the memory,
“Please let me keep this memory, just this one”

“Well, this is it. It’s all going to be gone soon.”
“So what do we do?”
“Enjoy it.”
and the seed they plant in the last remaining memory that leads them to meet again.

so often i get caught up in the what-ifs, and the future, and the he-doesn’t-love-me, and the this-girl and that-girl, and the desire to find certainty in all the inevitable uncertainty. so often i get caught up in trying to prevent pain, prevent heartbreak. so often, our human nature decides to approach resent with resent, doubt with defensiveness, injustice with battle, inequality with more inequality.

But what if this is it? What if this is all we are going to have? Why not enjoy it? Why not approach things with peace? Why not offer forgiveness even when it is undue?

my friend quietly said today, “when it’s all over, you’ll still be here.”

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