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April 28th, 2004

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09:23 pm - Narratology Meme
From several people, most recently moonriddengirl

Invent a memory of me and post it in the comments. It can be anything you want, so long as it's something that's never happened. Then, of course, post this to your journal and see what people would like to remember of you, only the universe failed to cooperate in making it happen so they had to make it up instead.

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Date:April 28th, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)

Title: Why not to make up memories after bedtime

aka "More is More"

It was about the fourth week into your art history seminar--I was a sophomore at the time. When you sent me a note saying you wanted to discuss Houdoun matters, I assumed you meant Jean-Antoine Houdon, the Rococo sculptor. I came to your office hours absolutely unaware how much my perspective of the world would be altered by what you wanted to disclose. Who knew that the ancient Forest Spirits had taken root in the woods of Walden? But it's the look in your eyes that I remember; as you invoked the loa, calling upon Papa Legba to allow us passage through to the other world, they reflected the wisdom of other cultures and other times.

Years later, when I'd heard about the breakdown that followed your brilliant, best-selling book on Fin de Siecle art, I will admit that my faith in you wavered. That spiritual experience was reduced to something far less noble...a manifestation of madness, a symptom of your disease. Everything became flat and dull. The world which had come alive for me that semester ceased to breathe, and in the absence of its exhalation, there was nothing to inspire. I put my paint brushes down.

Then I met your daughter. She had just taken her post in Paris, and though I am not much prized in political circles it chanced that we were invited to the same event. She was speaking to the curator of the Louvre. Her dress was precisely the color of her champagne. She sparkled, just as you did, so much that I felt compelled to go to her, to share my sympathy at your plight.

She knew me only through my work, but she was gracious nonetheless. "With my father at Walden?" she laughed. "Would you like to see him now?" She fumbled in her bag for just a moment and withdrew a stack of photos, held carelessly together by a rubber band. There, on the top of them, was you, with your camera and your notebook. You were in Japan, captured on film in all your luster beside a Shinto shrine. You had aged--as, indeed, have I--but the wisdom in your eyes remained unchanged.

I began my masterpiece that very day.
An Agent of Fortune

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