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Friday, October 8, 2010

When I was a child...

Each day passed is a day to remember no more, for if one spends their present in memory too long, one becomes an interpretor of dreams long gone, and never a dreamer of tomorrow. Now, awake! Live in the present.



I spent a lot of years thinking about the past while the present crawled away; passed right under my nose. Then, I wondered "where did all the years go?" And I realized the only thing I knew anything about with expertise was my memories. The trouble with most human beings is that they remember the worst things rather than saturating themselves with the good memories, and better yet, saturating themselves with the present.

Why do we always hear about these great writers, singers, athletes....and their struggles...We savor the recordation of their aloneness, until we hear how they transcended them. And then, they are forgotten. It seems people like to think more about their struggles than their success out of them.

I am writing a book of poetry about the stages in peoples' lives: More Mercy, More Love: how people look back at their childhood, to teen, to young adulthood, to prime adulthood, to midlife, and beyond, and how they feel about their present circumstances. What I know most about is the memory of all those places. Don't ask me about each level unless it has already passed by me: then, I am expert. I find it is this way with many people. Perhaps they were given to thinking too much, or being too much alone, or simply having no one to share their thoughts with...

My habit has always been to reflect upon what has already happened, and then recording it through poetry. While reflecting I see the present as simply a place to rest. Is this good or bad? I don't know. I only know that it works for me.

I sometimes think I was born primarily to be a recorder. I record the sensations of time: battles between siblings, parents, friends; accidental observations of intimate moments between lovers, or prohibited encounters of others; moments of my own loss, and the loss of others; moments of hope and then loss of hope; moments of shock and betrayal, and much more... All these observations I record in my poetry. The emotions of the events seem to me to be more telling than the actual event. I could never help being aware of my emotions in the wake of some traumatic event--or untraumatic as well--which led me to define them through the contemplation of my own senses and the recordation of them as well as those demonstrative gestures of others. Events come and go, and we are all moving through life with any sort of catastrophe, failure or success hurdling through life like meteors, and which happen to us all. Yet, there are the emotions attached to them--the events. And that is what has always made me observe, reflect, and record.

Friends have mentioned to me that I am insightful, or uncannily knowledgeable about their deepest fears, hopes, desires, sorrows, anticipations and joys. I don't work at this. It is what it is, as they say.

I spent my life just watching things and people around me, and attempting to define the activities in the structure of my own understanding, then filed them away in my own memory database. And when it came up again--the emotions--within a different event, I came to realize what kinds of events affect us deeply, and why some events affect some of us deeply, while hardly an emotion manifests in others...so empathy crept into me, and I experienced it with them--the emotional as well as the unemotional.

I've had my own share of traumatic and non-traumatic events and emotions. In fact, while observing and recording several incidences in time, I have missed my own alertness, and fallen into error in my own journey, even though I had notes on its folly. But, then I reflected upon how things happen over and over again--while we don't seem to learn the lesson, and communicate that on paper; record the history of it all.

I am reminded many times that my patterns of recordation could be detrimental to my health. I live so much in the memory and categorization of distinctive emotions and patterns of acute human conditions, that I know this might be something that is not good for me. Having a child-like nature is a requirement for one to become adult poets or writers, of which I am both.

For someone like me, it is so important to not observe traumatic observations as an adult would. Adults use euphemisms, and try to candy-coat some meaning to it, to be socailly and politically correct. This is not true of the Poet/Writer. Poet/Writers live in the twilight between past and present. They reflect, write, go back to the present, then go back the other way all over again.

I had no such guidance in the area of learning to balance one's self for healthy potential, so I never really learned to live in the present as well as I did in the past. I have become an expert on contemplation, while simultaneously becoming a klutz in social etiquette and political and social behavior...

Which is why the Bible reference by the Apostle Paul, that one should "put away childish things..." as advice given to those who entertain their own childish propensities too much, holds a lot of meaning to me. It may be time for me to wrap up that kind of profession: an expert on memory and emotions--in order to extend my life and live it in a more satisfying nature--live more in the present...be contributive to the present state of matters, and be more helpful to those who need it.

One has to think about NOW; feel its force and fan its unique unraveling. One has to stop dwelling in the past, and simply live now, and plan for the future....

Yet, it would take another lifetime to learn how to live in the present, for me. I'm just not good at politics or social jaunts; I don't know that I have that long a life to live--nobody knows that--so I gravitate to what I know best.

Perhaps childish things are good for some people-- like fingerpainting, or dancing around in a room alone;  or watching movies with popcorn and coke all day, or singing at one's self in the mirror, or laughing hilariously at slapstick or comedians, or drinking an extra glass of wine when one should not because one is having way too much fun... Is it alright to simply lie under a tree staring at a hummingbird that seems to want to observe me, when I should be thinking about working 9 to 5? Is it alright to never grow up, and never live inside my own body of experiences, like Peter Pan, while others take care of my needs, because I'm writing about life's affairs in order to help people see themselves better?

My only recourse is to observe and record those dynamics of others--empathize and live with them through it. Someone has to do this. It's the Poet/Writer's profession--and for some, a calling. I really don't want to grow up, anyway...I don't care how old I get...

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