I first learned what the word “oblivion” meant during my first week at Lycee Stendhal back in the 90’s. My English teacher, Mr Finn, had the words “oblivion” and its antonym (it could have been “consciousness” but I really can’t remember anymore) stuck up on one of his pinboards that were hanging on the wall. It attracted my attention, and when I finally had enough courage to ask him what it meant, I decided that it had to be used in my first book. I think I may have told Mr Finn that, and I hope that somewhere, somehow, he will see this and remember too, although he unfortunately isn’t here with us anymore. In any case, oblivion is one of my favourite words, and for a manic-depressive, also the word that will always be the best explanation of what we want to fall into during those times when we fall down, down, down.
What is oblivion to you? To me it is just somewhere where none of all this that we have to live with and deal with every day exists, and where we don’t have to remember or listen to anything or anyone, and when we come back from it, well, we won’t even remember that it existed anyway. Kind of like the characters in an episode of Lost. You don’t remember the island or anything that happened on it once you are away from it. But once you are there you are away. Maybe I just have a rosy vision of what oblivion really means, maybe it means just gone away for good, unaware of anything, in a catatonic state? I prefer my view. Oblivion is a soft, down-filled bed that I can sink into, like a fluffy white cloud on a sunny day in spring.
Merriam-Webster defines oblivion as being one of the following: “the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgotten; especially : the condition of being oblivious” or “the condition or state of being forgotten or unknown”. I still prefer my definition, it’s just more… Poetic maybe? In any case, this week I just want a day of what see as oblivion, and although I know that it won’t happen, it doesn’t hurt to dream.