Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Memory Isn't Cohesive

"Because memory isn't cohesive
It isn't a solid line from one day to the next.
It comes in chunks and I don't know them as
a solid entity.  I know the little pieces of them that
were a particular moment.  It all seems to have music
flowing through it.  But not a song I could name,
or even hear fully."

I have no idea what this quote is from.  Maybe "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje?  Maybe something by Jeanette Winterson?   No idea.  It's what I put on the very first Photoshop cut'n'paste I ever did.  That quote, a picture of redwoods, a scan of a tea bag, the fortune from a cookie (inverted, so it's white font on black!), a Scrabble board and a package of chopsticks.  What does it all mean?  I am too deep for myself.

I found this gem, along with a copy paper box full of other random ephemera, in my hall closet.  I'm trying to collect all such material into one bin.  I'm also hunting for some postcards Jean sent me, probably in 1996.  I don't remember what these postcards look like.  I remember them as being lovely, lovely.   Whenever I think about collecting all our bits and pieces into one place, I think fondly of how nice these elusive postcards will look.  Though I don't know what they look like.  I'll know them when I find them.  I think there were a series of three or four of them.

These pockets of ephemera, though, bring up such a mix of emotion.  Part of me thinks, "Cool!! I'd forgotten that."  Part of me thinks, "Really?  I've taken up hall closet real estate for this?"  And usually, I only seem to "get" about a third of whatever it was I thought I needed to tell myself, in saving such things.  Were the chopsticks symbolic?  Or were they just near the scanner when I started experimenting?  No clue.  But I still like the phrase "memory isn't cohesive" and "I know the little pieces of them that were a particular moment."  So I guess I'm glad I stuck this on a shelf.  Even if I now plan to scan it and dump it.

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