The Here and Now of Memory

“I love the story of a thing. I love a thing for what it means a thousand times more than for what it’s worth.” ~ Elizabeth Wein

“Looking from the window at the fantastic light and colour of my glittering fairy-world of fact that holds no tenderness, no quietude, I long suddenly for peace, for understanding.” ~ Daphne du Maurier

“You travel certainly, in every sense of the word. But you take with you everything that you have been, just as the landscape stores up its own past. Because you were once at home somewhere, you are never an alien anywhere.” ~ John O’Donohue

Unfortunately the skunk is back, but I don’t want to get into that. Dammit, I was enjoying his being elsewhere. Might be time to buy more mothballs. Whatever. The temperature sits at 30º. Last day in May. Go figure. The nighttime cold and the daytime heat, together, are one of my favorite things about living in the high mountain desert. Not like 70-80º at 3 AM, back in the islands where I lived for so long. But did I really? Did I really live there? Yup. It just feels different when I look at it now. No need to look back to see and feel those memories. That’s just not how I roll. Those memories are here and now; fluid, sometimes capricious, always, to some degree, deceptive, and even a little manipulative at times. The unaddressed pains and faux-longings of the Shadow do indeed drive us, if we are not up on conscious awareness. Yeh, memories can instruct, or evoke longing, laughter, sorrow, but the Shadow is timeless. It can kick your ass, right here and now. There is a lovely and funny scene from one of the Carlos Castaneda books in which Carlos is running at top speed, round and round the campfire, with a terrifying monster in hot pursuit. Don Juan, Carlos’ benefactor and teacher, sits a short ways off in the chaparral, laughing his ass off at Carlos’ plight. Carlos finally gets tired, and angry at the monster, so he turns to face it, then embraces it and wrestles the thing to the ground. Thereafter the monster became his Ally. I read the first four of the Castaneda books during the first two years of my recovery from head trauma – though I’m not right sure I actually recovered. Just changed. Just adapted. Turned a serial expression of non-verbal WTFs into something more viable. I don’t know. I feel the longing this morning, as I sometimes do, for a world in which I did not smash my face against the handlebars of the bicycle. People say I drank too much back then, but the minor disorientation I felt at all times was there with or without the beer. No. That’s what those who would speak of it told me: no. But were it not for the trauma I would not have lived in Massachusetts for 13 months – met Cheryl, met Lori. Sigh. To quote Calvin from the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”: “If life throws lemons at you just chunk them right back!”. That’s my kind of Calvinism. I am not meant to suffer, like in the other Calvinism. Not today, and hopefully not tomorrow. That’s enough for now.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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