Sunday, June 24, 2007


There are moments or stretches of time that I want to hold, to capture and return to over and over in my mind. I want to swim in them and make them the medium for my present being. But memory is like quicksilver, it changes shape according to the way I grasp it. It so often reflects my present face and mutates according to my experience. So the moment when my first son was born and those subsequent days when I could not stop laughing (even though it hurt so much) are not present the way I want them to be. They are, as they say, seen (felt) "through a glass darkly".

Recently, I was afraid of dying. It wasn't the apprehension of pain. It was the absolute certainty that the end of my consciousness meant exactly that: the end of my experience of life, the end of life. I felt assaulted by feelings of panic and melancholia. I realized the complete inanity of my trying to seek comfort in delusion and denial. The thought that I could exert control over what happened when I was gone was viciously filleted and abandoned. I was, "put in my place." But, there was an interesting byproduct. The fears and anxieties that have bedeviled me for so long evaporated and I had a heightened awareness of beauty, joy and human fragility. I felt a peaceful boldness. The feeling is slipping away. Yet, I vainly persist in trying to use these memories like a blueprint to reconstruct the experience.

So, I wonder who am I when I am telling stories drawn from my memory? Memory is mutable. It can't recreate states of being. Who am I being and who are You knowing when I am re-membering my past for You?

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