“The nice thing about your weekly entries,” writes a friend, “is that although you have been writing for many years, you never repeat yourself!”
What she doesn’t know is that I can’t afford to repeat myself because I have one friend with a devilish memory who will say:
”You’ve told us this 3 years ago!”
So I can’t repeat because I am afraid of Sophie.
There is something not quite fair about this matter, because many writers much more talented, famous, well-known than myself, repeat themselves here and there. I may pick up a book of short stories by Ephraim Kishon, read a few lines of a story and find that I’ve met this story before, maybe several times over. Once in a newspaper, once in a magazine, and maybe even in a book published many years ago.
So Ephraim doesn’t have Sophie, but didn’t his wife ever tell him?
“You can’t do this, you’ve done it before!!!”
Possibly he didn’t care about his wife telling him that, his books sold very well and this was the main thing…
Memory is a precious possession which we start to appreciate only when it begins to slip away.
I remember the day when I walked with my husband on Moriah Street and a very nice-looking elderly gentleman approached my husband and said:
“How’ve you been, I haven’t seen you for a long time and you seem to get younger all the time!”
They exchanged a few words and the man walked away.
“Who was that? I asked my husband.
“I have no idea, he said, and I bet you he has no idea who I am either!”
Talking about memories there are of course the ones we refuse to remember. Rachel who attended elementary school with me sat next to me on the same bench. We meet from time to time in a café and talk about old times…
“Remember,” I asked her, “how we used to hate our music teacher because he made us sing the same hymns again and again? And then came the day when I got very bored with the same exalted words all the time and I decided to sing a Czech text to the music of the hymn.
“I had found the words in the last pages of our song booklet where they had hymns of other countries. I don’t know what made me choose the Czech hymn, maybe because it was a challenge to pronunciation!..
However, a music teacher has a good ear, and he soon noticed that I voiced some unusual lyrics. So he promptly sent me out of the classroom; but of course for the rest of the week I was much admired by the other children!”
“I don’t remember,” says Rachel…“well you were two years ahead of me, you know!”
Not true. I was completely astonished how she could deny our 4 years sitting side by side in school! It was a time when I greatly admired her knowledge of basic math which was an entire mystery to me. She on the other hand admired my elegant French. And now she denied those 4 shared years of our childhood. However, if she wants to deduct two years from a long lifetime, who am I to object?
Here is a variation of a famous saying:
Let’s remember the things we like, forget the ones which we liked less and know how to keep them apart.