Mémoire Du Jour

Rain Chudori's Mémoire Du Jour, or Memory of the Day, is a monthly column
in The Murmur House that records small, intimate, and eternal memories in the form of philosophy,
film, music, art, literature, and love. It is something new, something old, something you.


welcome home, starling

you are safe now

In Memory of Myself

In Memory of Myself

"My quietness has a number of naked selves,
so many pistols I have borrowed to protect myselves
from creatures who too readily recognize my weapons
and have murder in their heart."
––In Memory of My Feelings, Frank O'Hara

 
As a young girl, I promised myself that I would become the hunter, and not the hunted. I would let the world become my forest, I would sleep with a weapon, I would bring carcasses into my bed. I would be fearless. I taught myself to capture animals, take out their beating hearts, and letting them experience a gentle death. What beautiful deaths they were. And then one day, I met him. My own hunter. He trampled my forest, disarmed me, and carried me into his own bed. He was fearless. He searched for extinct creatures, preserving them, and letting them experience a noble death. And what a beautiful death it was. 
 
"Don't let yourself become your pain." He said as he came to me. I became his shadow, I began speaking like him, adopting his mannerisms, falling in love with the same parts of the world and despising the rest. Everything, anything, for you, I would tell him. I loved him more than he loved me, and I was prepared to live with that truth if I could stay with him forever.  After a while, we learnt how to hide our fears within each other. We tucked it in the bed with us like a living, breathing being that we completely neglected. I was afraid of how unattached he was, how dismissive, how he had moments of carelessness which were full of purpose. He was afraid of my obsessive collection of dreams, desires, and memories. I was trying to escape the past and he was trying to escape the future, and it seemed to us that the forest was quickly disappearing underneath us. And then he betrayed me. A quick, mindless, act of dishonesty. A promise of violence. And these are the things that make a hunter.  
 
"I am underneath its leaves as the hunter crackles and pants
and bursts, as the barrage balloon drifts behind a cloud
and animal death whips out its flashlight,
whistling
and slipping the glove off the trigger hand."
––In Memory of My Feelings, Frank O'Hara

 
I began to blame myself for his betrayal. My hair was too long, my skin was too dark, my love was too transparent and my longing for him was too endless. I attempted to map out the ways in which I could have kept him. I should have given, but not too much. I should have been there, but not too often. I should’ve loved him, but not too violently. I wanted to leave him, to build again my weapons, to grow again my forest until I wanted to return to him, to let him hold me one more time, to become his once again. Still, I could not understand how he could sacrifice everything I had offered him for something something as abstract as Grandeur, while all I could think of was Survival.
 
I realized that I had forgotten how to carry myself through this world. If I were to pass myself in the street, I would simply brush shoulders with this young girl, who found herself lost after jumping off the pages of a book of poems. If she were to ask me for directions, I would tell her I didn't speak her language and walk away. If she were to follow me, I would let her be my shadow until she disappeared on her own. If I were someone else, anyone else, I would not recognize myself in the streets for I have become my own pain, completely.
 
"My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent
and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets.
He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals."
––In Memory of My Feelings, Frank O'Hara

 
"I want to hold you while you cry and cry and cry, until one day, you would not be crying and I will only hold you." He told me when I came back. My pain became my shadow, it began speaking to me, following my mannerisms, teaching me how to fall in love with the world again and to abandon the rest. Everything, anything, for yourself, my shadow would tell me. It loved me because I couldn't love myself, and I was prepared to live with that truth if it stayed with me forever. After a while, my shadow appeared as a figure. We tucked it in bed with us like a living, breathing being that I had to take care of. My shadow addressed our fears, returned us to our past, sustained us in our present, prepared us for the future, and it seemed to us that the forest had appeared around us once more. And then I stayed with him. A slow, mindful, act of faithfulness. A promise of forgiveness. These are the things that make a person.  
 
As a young girl, I promised myself that I would become the hunter, and not the hunted. I would let the world become my forest, I would sleep with a weapon, I would bring carcasses into my bed. I would be fearless. I taught myself to capture animals, to take out their beating hearts, and to let them experience a gentle death. What beautiful death they were. But then one day, I met him. My own hunter. He trampled my forest, disarmed me, and carried me into his own bed. He was fearless. He searched for extinct creatures, to preserve them, and to let them experience a noble existence. And what a beautiful life it has been. 

 

Always Asleep

Always Asleep

For You, Max

For You, Max