The little wax pony is navy, the legs seared together at its base. It’s tail was bitten off in a long ago mistaken appeal to a toddler seeking a snack. There is nothing appetizing here, but a memory. It raises the specter of times long past, of cherished toys, of days when hope was still a strategy.
The string on the pony’s back is limp, the pale beige tip fanned and stripped of its thin coating. It is untouched, the wick. Never lit, just tossed in a junk drawer for someday. Some day in the rain, some day when the power is knocked out and the trees and sky lash at the windows and roof.
She traces the edge of the battered little horse. Thinks of its purposeless journey. Lifts it to her nose to smell the wax that has long since lost its scent.
Someday a light will shine, the dull scratched blue exterior melting away to shiny wet ribbons of flowing color. The chips and cracks and missing limbs all gone, a perfect puddle on a saucer or plate. A bright flame as a saddle, a light for the way.
She holds it in her hand, strokes it with her thumb as she pulls the junk drawer open, as if to toss it within. Then she paused, sets it aside and digs in the drawer, to pull out an old lighter that she used to use to light cigarettes.
It’s someday, she said.
I forgot how it feels to remember.
Yet the act of letting go feels impossible, surely I am defined by my past. Forget it and you are doomed to repeat it, pundits warn. But in memory, am I not just living and reliving the worst moments of my life? The mistakes and tragedies, real or imagined, that come so quickly to mind. Second guessing to hold myself accountable for acts that are not my own.
Hindsight is not innocent. Not always about better ways or means. Sometimes remembering is just a baseball bat, used to punish and proclaim those voices in my head right.
I am nothing. I am worthless. I am inherently broken.
I forgot how good it is to forget. To let things go, to move on. Not to bury the sorrow, or condone the act or sweep things under the rug. But to remember the endurance in despair, to honor the effort no matter the outcome. In my fall, it was as if I forgot about honor. Trembling in fear, overwhelmed by shame. Lost.
I forgot all that makes me me.