William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Holy Torment

Once I realized I would live forever, I forgot all about it. Truth be told, if in my life there’s a common theme, it’s that almost without exception, whatever flash of insight I have, or feel I have, I forget within a day or two. And so it might be said that my present understanding is an accumulation of inspired residue dating back to childhood, those tiny bits which, against all odds, have survived my self-inflicted difficulties and ongoing foolishness. It’s also possible that whatever hasn’t survived, or is so deeply submerged, is the very heart of enlightenment, self-knowledge, or whatever term one may choose. This is, of course, an over-simplification of a lifetime I can only characterize as an almost overwhelmingly rich experience, in which grief, pain, and joy have been an exalting, holy torment. Individual memories, themselves still subtly changing and hauntingly alive, serve as reminders and signposts. The feeling remains, though, that what is forgotten, temporarily or forever, is of profound meaning and importance. Or it sometimes seems so. Because the present itself is so full and satisfying that wondering about what might or might not be hidden in the debris seems hardly worth pursuing. That remembering is pleasurable, even when it’s painful and speaking it aloud reeks of confession, only adds another interesting dimension. I see the child in myself at every turn — the child I am, was, and will always be — and realize the fragile nature of my knowledge; I realize how unnecessary it is, and how subject it is to life’s experiences and whims.


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Categories: Daybook

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