I’ve always found it strangely calming—the excision of texts and images, the disposal of objects, the burning of papers. To destroy or erase cleanses me of something’s aura, that miasma of living memories pervading an inanimate presence. It was upon reading an article, and the study—“Design for Forgetting: Disposing of Digital Possessions After A Breakup”—it summarized, that got me thinking lately about what it means to document and to forget.
* Kristie Kachler * I say I’ve lost so much and you imagine something awful, but I just mean the boring things, the standard things. The first that comes to mind: shortly after we moved to Berlin my love bought me a pair of hand-knit gloves at a market. On the ride home I fell off my bike and wore a hole straight through the gray and purple-striped palm; I mended them, but they soon fell out of my pocket. A friend in the know mailed a replacement pair, but these I left in the U-Bahn. I didn’t lose the precious incense holder, almost paper thin and perfectly celadon, that I had bought as a student in Strasbourg, but my cat broke it. When I moved abroad the cat moved in with a friend who fell out of touch.
GAYEV: “‘Dear old bookcase! Wonderful old bookcase! I rejoice in your existence. For a hundred years now you have borne the shining ideals of goodness and justice, a hundred years have not dimmed your silent summons to useful labor. To generations of our family (almost in tears) you have offered courage, a belief in a better future, you have instructed us in ideals of goodness and social awareness….’
* Zhanna Vaynberg * If you consider that in the past twenty, thirty years, life has only gotten more and more fast-paced, it’s a little strange that the tradition of marriage advances at the opposite rate. Sure, plenty of people still get married straight out of high school or in their early twenties, though this seems to happen mostly in smaller towns or within very religious communities. And sure, half of all marriages end in divorce, so perhaps enough people are already rushing to the altar. But is there something else, something deeper at work here?
* Kevin Haworth * One possible future of Palestinian society is being built, at a breathtaking pace, just north of Ramallah, on a hilltop facing the small Jewish settlement of Ateret. It is the town of Rawabi, which bills itself as the “first planned Palestinian city,” and which sits in a formerly bare stretch of the West Bank like an oasis of construction equipment and activity.