Forgetting in France: My Journey Through Memory and Time ✨🇫🇷

Forgetting in France: My Journey Through Memory and Time ✨🇫🇷

I didn’t notice much on the day we arrived because it was raining. But as soon as we settled in on the second day, I knew I had been to that town before. I was visiting some French towns I thought were new to me when, all of a sudden, an old art deco post office building stood in front of me, greeting me like an old acquaintance. Certain places and scenes are imprinted in my mind, and that building was one of them. I knew I had taken a photo of it; I just couldn’t remember the circumstances or dates.

Post Office at Foix


For those unaware, I’ve been on sabbatical with my family in Toulouse 🇫🇷 since September. This city is dear to us: we got married here (11 years next week! 🎉) before moving to DC and named our daughter Tolosa after the city’s old name. Toulouse is a place of love and fortune for us, and it serves as a poignant measure of time. The photos I take now and then reflect my family’s growth and my own evolving perspective.

 


2019 vs 2023


I pride myself on having a good memory, constantly reinforcing my experiences with sketches, notes, and an abundance of photos. However, when I retrieved images from ten years ago, I realized they are almost identical to those I've taken this year. Does that mean my point of view remains unchanged? Do I find joy in the same things? What does this mean for my journey of self-discovery? Here I was, thinking I was discovering the city anew! 😅

view from our apartment in 2012-2015


To be creative, one must learn to let go, making the ability to forget absolutely essential. I often see myself as a time traveler, communicating glimpses of my era to future generations through my illustrations, much like reading messages in bottles from my favorite artists of the past 🏺. But there’s something truly magical when —thanks to the power of forgetting— those images reach an older version of myself.

Thanks for reading and as they say in French: N'oublie pas de rester curieux! [Don’t forget to stay curious!] ✨

Selfie with a band
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