Dès Vu: The Awareness That This Will Become A Memory

Once in a while you look up, and watch as the present turns into a memory, as if some future you is already looking back on it.

From French dès vu, "seen as soon as" or "seen from this point forward."

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"The Bell Jar" by Aaron Peter Robinson & Justin John Shearn

You were born on a moving train.
And even though it feels like you're standing still,
time is sweeping past you, right where you sit.
But once in a while you look up,
and actually feel the inertia,
and watch as the present turns into a memory
-as if some future you is already looking back on it.

Dès Vu.

One day you'll remember this moment,
and it'll mean something very different.
Maybe you'll cringe and laugh,
or brim with pride, aching to return.
or notice some detail hidden in the scene,
a future landmark making its first appearance
or discreetly taking its final bow.

So you try to sense it ahead of time, looking for clues,
as if you're walking through the memory while it's still happening,
feeling for all the world like a time traveler.

The world around you is secretly strange:
some details are charming and dated,
others precious and irretrievable,
but all fade into the quaint texture of the day,
a harmless reflection of its own era.

You try to read the faces around you,
each fretting about the day's concerns,
not yet realizing that this world is already out of their hands.
That it doesn't have to be this way, it just sort of happened,
and everything will soon be completely different.

Because you really are a time traveler,
leaping into the future in little tentative steps.
Just a kid stuck in a strange land without a map,
With nothing to do but soak in the moment
and take one last look before moving on.

But another part of you is already an old man,
looking back on things.
Waiting at the door for his granddaughter,
who's trying to make her way home for a visit.
You are two people still separated by an ocean of time,
Part of you bursting to talk about what you saw,
Part of you longing to tell you what it means.