Thursday, November 01, 2007
I saw her through the window. She was walking away. I was standing still. She was outside. I was passing through a hallway, near a stairwell. The day was drawing to a close. The sky was shaded a slight but vivid shade of ash-stained grey. I couldn't tell her age. She may have been a teacher, or a student. She may have been middle-aged, or young. There was nothing special about her. There was nothing special about me, watching her. Nothing more than a glimpse. But I thought: I will remember this moment. An absurd thought, really. There was nothing about that instant in time to distinguish itself. Nothing worthy of memory. We should remember the important moments, not the mundane ones. But still, I told myself: You will remember this moment. You will watch her walk away, out of sight. And once she's gone, exited from the window frame, returned to her life and out of your gaze, you will go back to your classroom. You will return to your day just as she has returned to her night. And so that's what I did, and I taught my class, and that girl, that lady, that woman, age unknown, name unknown, faceless, nothing more than a distant, strolling figure, disappeared. Out of sight. But it was the ordinariness of that moment that I wanted to remember. I almost felt bad for that moment, that spot in time. I felt sorry for its plainness, as if the instant itself was separate from me, tangible and capable of being hurt. By remembering it I can grasp those few seconds and acknowledge their intangibility. By holding it tight I can slowly let it go.