July 27, 2016 – Remembering/Forgetting
This week I offer a passage from a novel by Milan Kundera (Czech/French; 1975- ) titled Slowness, with the hope of offering a logical foundation for my encouragement to slow down the pace of our lives so that we remember what we need — and not forget what we want:
“There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. Consider this utterly commonplace situation: a man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down.
Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time.
“In existential mathematics, that experience takes the form of two basic equations:
* The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory.
* The degree of speed is direcly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.”