i write with my memory wand

“This? It is called a Pensieve. I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind. At these times, I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.” – Albus Dumbledore in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It’s funny how memories, like your favourite pair of stockings, tend to get holes or run ladders. Sooner or later, they both tend to get patchy.

Exhibit 1: Last night.

Last night, I lay in bed, trying to figure out why it is that even though I’d had a late night as I’d been writing again, I felt content and at peace (albeit, very snoozy). For some reason, Dumbledore’s Pensieve came to mind.

Not having one myself, I couldn’t remember half the details about how the bloody thing worked. So, in typical style, I went up and made up some fake ones. I lay there, convincing myself that poor Dumbledore had pulled out strands of his hair, which dropped into the Pensieve basin. No wonder, J. K. Rowling had made a point of mentioning his amazing locks at various points in the Harry Potter series. At this point, the Pensieve, which had previously seemed like a marvelous thing to own, appeared slightly less desirable. In fact, as I pondered a bit more, I already felt like a human hair ball at times with strands of hair moulted on my clothes, so surely I was the last one to consider owning one. With my tendency to overdo things, I’d probably pluck all my hair out in a matter of months, and baldness in your twenties.. not so attractive.

Good, I thought, as I dozed off a little. I don’t need one. And besides I already have a Pensieve: my pencil. No matter that I’d stuck it away in my treasure chest for a few months. Writing again in the last few days had shown me how this process of struggling for appropriate sheets of words to place into idea frames was something I needed to let light into the interior of my mind. That’s why I’d felt so at peace recently. I probably thought some epically profound thoughts after this as well, but we’ll never know ’cause I fell asleep.

Imagine my embarrassment this morning when I woke up to Google the actual details only to discover that I’d been wrong. And just like that, I wanted a Pensieve again. But somehow, my pencil, that poor little red-and-black-striped strip of wood that had been so long neglected, seemed to shine a little bit brighter in the daylight. Finally, a reason to write.

PS the word Pensieve always reminds me of the following scene between Cool Guy and Cool Girl in the movie 10 things I hate about you

Joey: [holding up headshots] Which one do you like better? 
Bianca: Umm, I think I like the white shirt better. 
Joey: Yeah, it’s-it’s more… 
Bianca: Pensive? 
Joey: Damn, I was going for thoughtful. 


~ by translating for peas on October 15, 2009.

One Response to “i write with my memory wand”

  1. 🙂 yup, that’s what the word pensieve instantly conjures in my head too… the 10 things ref.

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