Gold foil illustration of stars

Olēka

The Awareness of How Few Days Are Memorable

Your life is a highlight reel. You’d like to think that every moment has potential, that there’s something transcendent hidden all around. If you’d only stop to seize the day, you could hold on to it and carry it with you. But the truth is, most of life is forgotten instantly, almost as it’s happening. Chances are that even a day like today will slip through your fingers and dissolve into oblivion, washed clean by the tides.

Another day, another week, another year: such is the rhythm of ordinary time. Filled with long, featureless stretches we tend to skip over to get to the good parts. The thousand acts of maintenance you have to do every day. The labor of keeping your body going, hauling it back and forth across the same stretch of road, no closer than you were the day before. You keep breathing in and out. Things fall apart; you clean up the mess. And it all washes away in the night, to be built up again in the morning. You keep throwing the week against the wall to see what sticks, hoping you’ll remember something that happened today. Anything.

You begin to question how you’re spending your life, wondering if you’re wasting it. Spending so much energy just pushing back against the current, trying to keep your small boat afloat. Waiting for those singular moments that’ll make it all worthwhile, when you can finally say, “Eureka! I’ve found it!”

But the rest of life is happening anyway, whether you’ll remember it or not. So you might as well say, “Olēka! I’ve lost it!” As if to mark the passage of yet another morsel of life, flushed down the hourglass. A final toast to the endless forgotten days, whose humble labor has given you everything you have, at least for the moment.

As the song says: “Long live the high tide and long live the low, but above all, long live the difference.”

Greek ἀπολώλεκα (apolóleka), I’ve lost it. The lyric quoted at the end is from Nada Surf’s song “Là Pour Ça.” In the original French: “Vive la marée haute et vive la basse, / Mais surtout vive la différence.” Pronounced “oh-lee-kuh.”

Harke

Lisolia

Amentalio

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Dolonia

Waldosia

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Mimeomia

Rookish

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Boorance

Hem-Jawed