Word Origin & History
late 14c., “state or fact of forgetting,” from L. oblivionem (nom. oblivio ) “forgetfulness,” from oblivisci (pp. oblitus ) “forget,” originally “even out, smooth over,” from ob “over” + root of levis “smooth.”
This, to me, is what it means to have been forsaken: to smooth over. I think it’s wrong to use the word adoption to describe our experience much of the time, though I am guilty of this myself.
For many romantics, who love melancholy, Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion is one of the finest documents of the human condition ever expressed. But it’s not my favorite Piazzolla song. I have two(three): Milonga del angel + Muerte del angel and Mumuki
Milonga del angel is all the desperate, bittersweet hopes of our youth.
and Muerte del angel is like the encapsulation of an entire life’s angst and chaos. To my mind, the two are inseparable.
I wish I could find the complete Muerte del angel but there are only these short versions on youtube. The long version has redemption and resolution and acceptance and ends on a note of grace.
And then there is Mumuki
Mumuki to me is gratefulness for a seat for ones passions: it’s consolation, shelter, and relief from the ever-present melancholy.
I’m adding these because I read someone’s blog who linked to my suspended animation post. Which, btw, is one of the few really personal posts I’ve ever posted, so it’s a very strange feeling to find it’s one of the most widely read. But the comment one adoptive parent made about it, holding it up as a worse case scenario of what to expect for her child was exasperating.
To isolate a moment like that is just one bar from Muerte del angel. To have lived a life of oblivion and fighting the melancholy brought on by being forsaken totally discounts the energy and passion put into turning that melancholy into a beautiful song.
I am always seeking to write my own Mumuki.
In so many ways, taken out of context, out of this complete and evolving ouvre, we adoptees who share our stories are exploited for the hysteria of others. We are not dwelling on dots out of self indulgence, we are merely connecting the dots so we don’t live hypocritical lives. Neither are we all surrounding ourselves with a shield of negative adoptee dogma in a cult of anger and blame. There needs to be accountability so others don’t have to walk such a difficult path, but the blame I put out is only to facilitate that accountability: I understand even those who commit crimes against humanity are human too, and victims themselves.
In many ways I think I am privileged. I am forced daily to consider the essential. I have touched death and given birth and appreciate the good and recognize the bad better than so many I meet. I can live on vapors. Can everyone say that?
I am, also, “privileged” to have experienced adoption in more ways than most. I am a survivor and that means I have a rare and nuanced perspective and can compare many aspects of the complications of power imbalances: I think I am a thoughtful, rational survivor who is just in a place that would challenge anyone.
So it’s wrong to paint us as anything less than anyone else. And our tenderness and exposure – well – that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a mistake to see only the tragedy.
btw, makkolli 30 days after expiration is a little tangier, but just fine for a Friday night.