Tag Archives: forget

Life’s a Birch

I was sitting in an office waiting. There was a painting of a forest of birch trees on the wall.

I noticed that birch trees always have so many knots on their trunk, like they’re falling apart and losing branches right and left. Either it’s bad construction, or they’re the laziest trees ever and simply get tired of holding their branches up. If I was a bird I would only build a nest in a birch tree if I was pinched for cash and needed a place to stay. Even the bark has given up and started turning itself into paper. It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways? Yeah, I get it, you’re supposed to grow and get tall… but why? Is there an optimal height that all trees are trying to reach? Because the taller you get, the easier it seems to snap in half in the middle of a storm, or lose your roots in a flood. Why not reach a modest, respectable height, and stop? Are you really going to benefit from being taller if you just keep dropping branches along the way? They are what built you up in the first place, so how do you think that makes them feel? You sacrifice what you consider to be dead weight just so you can sprout a few more leaves closer to the sun.

What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.

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If ignorance is bliss, is it better to have forgotten something or to never have known it at all?

…I don’t even know how to answer that question.

You could start by picking one or the other.

I mean, you’re asking about the loss of knowledge, where if you have experience either forgetting or not-knowing, then by it’s very nature you won’t know what it is you forgot, or never knew, therefore discrediting your own opinion as soon as you open your mouth.

I get what you’re saying, but isn’t it possible to know what you’ve forgotten, yet impossible to know what you’ve never learned?

Hmm, then I suppose yes and no. I know I used to be good at calculus in high school, but if you gave me a double integral I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Not many of us would.

Anyhow, in that sense I know what I’ve forgotten, but that’s just a matter of practice and maintenance of the mind. But for the other half of that, if we want to get real technical, I’ve never learned how to fart–I just know how to do it.

But that’s just a bodily function. That’s like saying you know how to grow your own hair.

No it’s not. You don’t have to make a conscious effort to grow your hair, but you can however make a conscious effort to fart. It’s something you have control over more or less.

I’m still not buying it… what’s that smell?

Nothing — Anyways, I guess it’s just hard to quantify your own loss of knowledge, ergo consciousness.

Like asking someone, “are you asleep yet?”

Yeah, you need someone else to remember for you.

But if we can’t even trust ourselves to remember, how can we trust someone else to?

Hmm, I guess I’ll start taking more pictures.

Don’t forget to smile.

You don’t have to remind me.

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“Even when I have plenty of time, I prefer to pack in a panic just so I forget one essential thing every time.”

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