Wednesday’s crazy snow day here on the East coast gave me the opportunity to watch Call Me By Your Name, one of this year’s Oscar nominated movies. It’s a story of first love that transcends questions of gender, age, and impropriety so completely that it’s able to evoke tremendous emotions in its viewing audience. I, for one, was left sobbing at the end of it, completely unravelled by one spoken line. It left me thinking about what it is that we seek from one another in terms of our relationships, no matter what the nature of our involvement may be. What is the one single thing that renders us so undone when we do not find it?
I have always believed that one of our greatest roles while here on this earth is to bear witness to one another’s lives. We are charged with remembering. If we are parents, then it is our job to remember the things about our children that they cannot. Only we can convey to them the joy they brought us as babies, the pride we took in their earliest accomplishments, the tug at our hearts we felt as they took their first steps aways from us. Likewise, with our own parents, it is our responsibility as their children to be with them up until the very end, to hold their hands and thank them for everything they did for us, to tell them that we bear witness to their role as our parents, and we know that they did the very best they could for us, always. With our friends and our families, we are charged with remembering the moments, big and small, that we have shared together that have built the foundation of our relationships. It is our job to acknowledge their impact on our lives, to look them in their eyes and tell them that their importance is so great that we know that losing them would be monumental for us. And if we are involved in a significant romantic relationship, whether it be a marriage of many years, or something that filled our lives with sweetness and joy for only the briefest period of time, we are still responsible for remembering, for acknowledging, and for bearing witness to what we shared together.
The answer to my earlier question is that validation is what we seek from one another more than anything else, and it is the absence of it that hurts us so deeply. This has nothing to do with a lack of self esteem, or unhealthy codependence, or dysfunctional manipulation. What I am suggesting is that even though we may all inherently know that we are worthy, we need to speak those words to those we love far more often than we do. And we need to hear them as well. It will strengthen our bonds, and deepen our connection by immeasurable degrees just to have that moment of acknowledgement. And when one of our relationships comes to an end, whatever the reason may be, whether it’s a physical death or an emotional one that cannot be transcended, then our final words should be “I remember everything.” This was the line from Call Me By Your Name that moved me so much. As impossible and fleeting as their relationship was, there was still acknowledgement of its significance by both parties, and that brought a sense of closure, especially to the teenage boy, that would have been impossible otherwise. He would have gone on wondering for the rest of his life whether he had been worthy. He would have felt as though he was the only witness to something that changed his life in the profoundest of ways.
For today’s cocktail, I used a base of Kinsey bourbon, locally distilled right here in Philadelphia and added to it a premixed turmeric ginger chai from Rishi for its healing and restorative properties. I also used a teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup that I’d infused with rosemary, for remembrance of course. I served it over ice in a tall Collins glass and topped it with club soda. This cocktail was warm and spicy, and made me feel as though I was drinking something that was could bring me such comfort and peace of mind. We live in a time when every self-help book we read tells us that we need to dig deep inside ourselves to find our own sense of self worth, that no one can do that for us. These are true words, but they do not undo the responsibility we still have to bear witness, and to acknowledge one another’s worth and importance. I acknowledge all of you. Thank you for reading what I write and for being such an important part of my life. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
I Remember Everything
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker except for the club soda. Add ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with the club soda and garnish with a rosemary sprig. Enjoy!