The Man Who Never Was
Forgotten but Not Yet Gone
A long time ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and I worked for a living, we used to periodically joke about one of our colleagues, someone who periodically annoyed folks, that he was ‘forgotten but not yet gone” as a play on the old saw, “ Gone but not forgotten.” It seemed funny at the time.
But now, I no longer work for a living. I mostly pretend to work at things—“art” mainly. But slowly, I have become aware of the phenomenon of aging. One part of the phenomenon is the dying off thing—family and friends keep dying around us. But another feature seems to be something close to the “forgotten but not yet gone” thing. It is that, after a while, no one seems to notice that you are still here.
I have begun to notice this at events, like our periodic Art Walks in Concord. I routinely prepare a set of pictures for these events and display them proudly. But increasingly, I note that only my wife and my niece pay any notice of the pictures. They are always there, of course, supporting me in my futile efforts at art. But, virtually no one else shows. And the line of patrons of the Art Walks who do appear mostly seem to wander through in a fog, not really looking at anything, but eyes gazing off into space as they make their rounds without seeing anything.
It has also been clear for some time that few pay any attention to any of my three blogs. I do one with commentary on current affairs—Artful Notes, another on my “art” Observed Art, and a third on cooking—Farm Foodies. Whereas fine blogs by folks such as Margaret and Helen draw thousands of faithful followers, I have one for my Artful Notes. On a good day, I might show two viewers. Generally on the other two, an average day shows zero viewers.
Then I noticed on, of all things, Facebook commentary, that I have mostly one commentator—an old friend from our India days. She mostly “likes” and sometimes comments on my postings, especially when I post some art, or some sarcastic commentary on the days events. Whereas, other folks seem to draw dozens of comments whenever they post anything. But most of the folks doing these postings also work—they are active members of our community and work for a living. They are, in short, still here, and not yet forgotten.
Interesting . . .