Friday, April 2, 2010

In the stillness of remembering

"Thunder only happens when it's raining,
players only love you when they're playing.
They say, women, they will come and they will go,
when the rain washes you clean, you'll know,
you will know."

Dreams :: Fleetwood Mac
live video
cover (The Morning Benders)

Memory, and the feelings and consequences of remembering, seem to be a pervading theme right now, to me. The music I have found myself drawn to over the span of a week's worth of days seems to be veering in the direction of memory, lessons learned, and I suppose an over-arching subtext of learning to let go. Music is my muse, I've said it time and again, and perhaps it is that strange hand of musical, and lyrical, fate guiding me into issues I need to explore. Or, it could be me that is reaching out, and leaning towards the sounds and subject (whether on the surface, or tucked deep into my own interpretations of a song) of the very things I'm sifting and sorting through myself. Is it fate, or is it free will? I tend to be somewhere stuck in the middle, a believer in a little bit of both.

But, I digress, that pervading theme I mentioned, it is memory, isn't it? And perhaps the illusion of memory, the perception we gift everything, and the tint of the glasses we see what's happened with. Its like that game played in Summer camp, or grade school rainy days, where an event, or a picture, is recalled by a group - or a message is re-told, like in the game of telephone - everyone's impression, and memory, is a little bit different. That doesn't change much as we grow older. In some ways I think it becomes more pronounced, the differences in our recollections, and the colored lenses of our see and interpret the world glasses. We have our own pasts to come in and interfere, our life stuck issues that tilt the image, and our fears and insecurities that can turn the picture upside down, and inside out.

Is it the past, those early rejections that may have happened in our own homes, within our families, or maybe on the playgrounds and halls of school, that instill in us a more jaded perception? Can you recall the first time you were rejected? Does it still live somewhere in the tangled web of your memories? If you asked the person who rejected you would they see the moment as the same? Did one win the game, and the other get thrown into the storm? Did one carry with them a knapsack of blame that it must have been something I've done? Or, did it become an expectation, that we are all temporary, and just part of a game? Or, did both people, in some ways, get hurt in it?

How do we wash clean the marks of early rejection? Is that memory, the memory of pain, able to be washed away at all? Is the wash away the perception that everyone plays the game, that we are only loved within its constructs and constraints, and then tossed away - or maybe we run for the door ourselves - when the game is over? Or do we remember it differently, somehow? Do we recall the way we tried to hide the rules, cheat the game, change the player into something else entirely, and hideaway from the inevitable rains?

I don't know how I remember any of it exactly, the rejections, the endings, the ends of each game. I tihnk the way I recall those times, those endings, become painted by how I feel the day I look back. Sometimes I'm more fragile, breakable at a mere sideways glance, and internal bruises reach for the light of recognition and all I can remember is being thrown away. Other days, when I'm more myself (although self, like memory, is ever-changing, and colored by perception, too) - stronger, more sure of my place in this world, I remember being the one to walk away, or at least a mutual "it just isn't working, but you were wonderful" kind of goodbye. It never is that clean, though, and it never is that cruel - it is always somewhere in-between - like that space between fate and free will.

In the stillness of remembering, how do you remember?

"The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware.”

:: Eugene Ionesco

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