Tag Archives: memory

Meta’s Sleep Workings

While writing out my 60s jokes for this blog, because it had been so many years since telling them last, I just couldn’t remember the second stanza of the elephant trilogy.  I asked others and then scanned their lists of elephant jokes on the internet to no avail.

Finally I thought of my memory aids.  The first ones that I had learned in a memory course that I took during the 70s.  As I cozied into my bed for the night I thought about what I wanted to remember then let myself forget it and relax into sleep.

Sure enough, still in bed the following morning it came to me without bidding.  If you are puzzling over a project or choice think over the problem – forget it- sleep – the answer will occur to you shortly after waking.

If you have things on your mind that you want to accomplish the next day that are keeping you awake try writing them down.  Afterwards forget about them as you cuddle back onto your pillow.  Rest soon follows.

Another technique to bring rest – picture yourself lying in the sand on a warm beach with sea breezes keeping you totally comfortable – feel your body grow heavy – sinking into the nice warm sand.  You will soon fall asleep.

My grand mother taught me that if I concentrated on the time I wanted to wake – then glanced at the clock – I could wake at the time I wanted with out the use of the alarm.

These sleep workings have rarely failed me – nor Iba after I taught him.

Creation

I stand in the shadowy late hours

one flat foot

disoriented

my kidneys dwindling fast

maybe

my life would have been better spent in front of a television set

It seems that I can not resist

I must slug through the horrors of dark daily chores

In hope

of a few hours

of clear headed creativity

I take it as it comes

It can not be tricked

as if by a thief

lured like a lover

trapped like an animal

or snared by Magick

as though

It were a spirit or a demon

It comes as it chooses

It gives what it will

all one can do is practice

hone their meager skills

so when it comes they will be ready

as vacant as life can be

this capricious giver of gifts

laughing chooses with out reason

It will come

and when it touches you

If it touches you

If you be ready

It will touch you again

Sometime

Silent Thunder

I remember that we would get together, during the long warm or hot summer’s afternoon to listen to the rain.  It seems in my memory that this happened many times, everyday.  This could just be an illusion of memory.  It likes those type of jokes as it has a sense of humor all its own.

It would be with the first rumble of distant thunder, the skies just beginning to change to that soft grey.  We would gather on the front porch on a side street near the downtown each of us taking one of the many chairs trying to find the spot we thought would best keep us dry.  Dad would have his highball glass freshly filled with bourbon and water poured over an excess of ice and the remains of a long cold cigar stuck in the corner of his mouth.  On occasion these storms could be a bit hostile.  The thunder grew loud and angry either coughing racking cracks, loud or some times rolling like falling bowling pins.  The pale grey could get dark as though a blanket had been pulled over the sky.  It never got like night but it did sometimes turn to a slate grey green.

The wind would whip passed us and we would only leave the porch if it was impossible to stay some what dry, a little wet was to be expected.

When the sky was at its darkest on these summer afternoons would be the time that the lightening would show itself most brightly flashing wildly.  I know that the loud thunder and bright electric gripped me hard with cold tingling fear,  I don’t know about my brothers or mother.  What chatter there was between us would cease when those explosions of thunder occurred around the bright flashes of lightening.  Dad would laugh.  Maybe fear grabbed him too and laughter was just his way of dealing with it.

It was a summer tradition.

In time I would laugh too, when the fear that accompanied nature’s fireworks was at it worst.  This type of weather is like scotch, an acquired taste.  My memory shows me and tells me that both my brothers, brother number four was still a life time away, would laugh as well, the youngest being the last to begin the practice.

In time the laughter faded and we just sat, immersed in the moment.

Over time soda pop became beer and brother and I added tobacco, all at a legal age.  Mom fades from the picture in my head as well as the youngest brother.  We just sat in silence during those summer storms, in the moment until I had become to busy and I fade from the picture as well.

I don’t know how often mom joined us for those events or even the youngest brother but that may have nothing to do with the actual event.  It could be a trick of memory.  Maybe my mothers death back in 1988 at the age of 49 changed the way of where and when I remember her.  Youngest brother ceased any real participation in my life back in the early 1990s.  It could be the same type of phenomena.  It might be that the whole family gathered on that big front porch covered with a thick sturdy roof to watch the summer storms often and the events after the fact changed the way I remembered this.

I’ve noticed over the years, Meta and I had talked about it, that memory is quite strange.  Sometimes I see myself in my own memories, sometimes I do not.  Stranger yet I see the memory from strange angles, like a corner near the ceiling of the room of the event that I am remembering takes place.

The recollections of those summer storms seems like they came from a whole other life time.  My Mom would die a few years after these memories and my mental collapse came on the heels of that particular event, no big surprise in retrospect.  So when I look back from now I am not the same person as I was when the event I am recalling takes place.

Remembering is the the act of taking the pieces of a thing that has been dismembered and trying to put it back together.  That definition comes from the back of the cassette This Winters Night by the neopagan music group, MOTHER”S TONGUE.  Whenever I think about this I get the feeling that the thing dismembered has lost an indeterminate number of pieces.  That the reassembly is a difficult task.

I have spent time in my own memory making serious effort to avoid blame shifting and just trying to understand what’s has happened and why.  It is a task that will never be completed as memory is an imperfect thing.

Rather than remembering the dismembered it strikes me that memory is more like echos from some type of alien environment.  They are mix of known and unknowable some times in a language we recognize and sometimes in a tongue foreign to our ear and under the worst of circumstances a series of sounds not recognizable as a language at all.

Trying to remember anything with any form of relative accuracy is extremely difficult when I find my mind awash in hot sharp emotion.  It is possible to learn from such a thing and I have learned one important idea.

You can never know what is in the mind or heart of another person.

Its best not to assume otherwise.

 

Enlightened

We study words written

a piece of tapestry

A fragment from the long forgotten

Through eyes

with lenses trained by today

They struggle to see

Blinded by the brilliant moment

The Dragon, Lion and Camel

humbled

before a child

unable to stand or speak

wide waiting for the moment of creation

to be taught

or untaught

There is much talk

about the long road

many claim to see the end

of the impossible

a treacherous journey

Where am I along this road?

Is it paved, gravel, a trail or trace?

against the earth or sky

they claim to see backwards

they will show you

for the price of a paperback

or your soul

It seems no one truly knows

in the end

we each must decide

our own next step

Now just One Minute

I remember, when I was a bit younger, hearing that the life of a butterfly, once freed from the prison of its cocoon, lived for only a day.  I’m not sure how true that is as the Monarch Butterfly lives for six months, if memory serves.  Even if it is rarely true it is still an interesting fact.  I always wondered if that single day of life felt like a single day to the flutterby?  Does it feel as short as it sounds?

When I was about the age of 10 years I was struck by a strange near fatal illness.  I have always been under the impression that it was diphtheria, but I don’t know that as fact.  When I think about the butterfly flutteringby for its single day I wonder how long that passing day seems to the little critter.   I wonder if the butterfly can even conceive of the notion of time much less one as complicated as ours.  I wonder what it would be like for a lifetime to be such that the first half occurred in the light and the second half in the dark.  There is a point to this, I think.

We humans are quite curious in the way we understand our world.  Appointments, work schedules, bank accounts, credit cards, maps and countries are just a few numbers we use in almost every moment of our existence.  Nations, distance between cities and the diameter of our little planet and even the date of our birth and death are other numbers we use often.  Complicated ideas like force and velocity are also based on these strange numbers.  Weight, which is the effect of gravity on mass, length, height and time allow us as intelligent beings to develop an understanding of our reality.  These things, weight, length, time are metrics or units of measure are created by we humans and we accept them for the sake of simplicity.  They do not exist on their own in nature, there is a tree that grows yard sticks, meters, kilogram measures or seconds.  In my experience that is where the weirdness begins.

I don’t feel the passage of time naturally.  A clock does it for me but with out one I have no sense of time what so ever, unless I am smoking, tobacco.  Yes, I know it is bad for me.  Its been like that since my breakdown.  Maybe it was different in the respect of feeling times passage pre-breakdown but I have no point of reference, after all it was a long time ago.

I know this sounds crazy.

Really it came home to me after my fathers passing, when the ancient photos of a life so foreign to me came  back out into the world.  I knew the people in the photographs and yet I didn’t know them.  They were like a glimpse into a world that never existed even though I was pretty sure they had.

Over these many years with my strange occasional bouts of melancholy as though something had been lost, a thing that could never be regained, I found myself wondering as to the very nature of that thing.  After The old man’s death, when I became the old man, that sense had become exquisite ad sweet like some exotic food or strained alien mental sensation.

I wondered if I too was dead.

Would I know if I were?

Have my last many years of life been like that of the butterfly, just a day or a few hours as death was in the process of taking me?  I don’t think I would know the difference.  We have such definite ideas about the world but all of them are based on the measurement of our perceptions.

I find my self perplexed by the idea that these many years may be nothing more than phantasms of my dying brain.  My wife and friends and all these efforts to express my thoughts and even my brothers all figments of a sequence of neurons firing in those last few minutes while I lay in a hospital at the age of ten dying.

Does any of this really matter?

I think not.

Look for your Muse.  Only she can be your guide.

Absurd Jokes from the 60s by Meta

What’s big and purple and rides the waves?    Moby Grape

Why do elephants have pink eyes?   So they can hide in cherry trees

Have you ever seen an elephant hiding in as cherry tree?

works – doesn’t it

Why do the natives go into their huts between four and five in the afternoon?

That’s when the elephants jump out of the cherry trees

What’s red and green and goes round and round?

a frog caught in a blender

Intangible

Tangibility is the key

give it a number

weigh it

measure it

run some electric through it

Does it react?

Misbehave?

Get angry?

The Intangible carries no weight

An assembly of numbers

is still responisible

somehow

as though

The subtle might have a say

Even though it is not

This is

We are

That is an uncomfortable question