Monday, December 7, 2009

The End of the Tether

In the darkest, meanest things
Something always, always sings.

Better make yourself a cup of tea, this is a long one.

I'm sorry to disappoint anyone but life is NOT just a bowl of cherries. It is a mass of threads which we weave, braid and twist into a rope, better known as a tether. And that rope connects us to our past and our future. Like Penelope we keep weaving it every day, but unlike she we don't undo it at night.

I used to know a most unpleasant woman named Mrs. Fox. It was a good name for her because she was a wily observer and harsh critic of what she considered incorrect moral activity of the teenagers around her. As far as I know she wasn't employed to do that. It was a self-appointed crusade against normal behavior. While she sat, keeping a close and suspicious eye on us she would knit. I never saw any result of her knitting, maybe she did undo it every night, but I'll bet she had special knots to record, like Madame Defarge, the names, dates and acts of all offenders. She didn't realize it but she was knitting her own tether.

I recently read an article about a man who has a strange condition that allows him to remember every single day of his life. I don't know if that's a blessing for him. I know for me it would be a curse. There are a lot of things I've done that I would like to forget but can't. On the other hand there are a lot of things I've done that I would like to remember and can't. That's one of nature's little jokes.

There's a box next to a window in my apartment which contains the threads of my career that somehow I managed to save. In that box I can find simple typed and copied programs each of which tell me I was someplace in New York on such and such a date and did a reading of someone's play. I have absolutely no memory of most of them.

Such a condition tends to make me doubt my own history. I have vivid memories of certain things. But was I really there, did I really do those things, did those things actually happen to me? Some of it seems inconceivable to me now. I feel like a stranger to myself. It seems I am not the man I was 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

Saturday afternoon I was trying to explain to someone how it was that I first started painting. I couldn't remember the year or many of the facts leading up to it. It's all there somewhere in the rope, but I've lost track of it.

I set out to write about my experiences during th six weeks I was unable to connect with the Internet and thus with my own journal, my address book, my stories and all the journals I enjoy looking into. From the moment I knew for sure and had to accept that my computer was just no good, until the new computer arrived, was a period of great transition, a period of learning and adjustment. From the despair and depression of being deprived of my friends and my ability to communicate, I turned back to reexamine other parts of my life, reading and painting, writing in my private journal. I even baked some cookies. And finally there came the moment when I was awestruck and speechless at the arrival of the new computer, given to me by the love and generosity of some of my journal friends, some of whom are reading this entry right now.,

But the resonance of those weeks is slipping thorough the cracks. I find it hard to put all the pieces in their proper places. I remember the peaks of emotion, of course, the rage, frustration and deep despair. But most of the knicky kinacky things that happened through that trip in the desert are forgotten, which is all to the good, I suppose.

The threads in our ropes are made of the easy, mundane things of life, the tasks performed, the simple acts of love, the great acts of heroism, the beautiful moments of inspiration, the fantasies of the day, the dreams of the night, plans, hopes, failures, successes, lessons learned, lessons taught, tears and laughter.

I'm 70 years old, which I also find it hard to believe, and as with many people my age and older, I'm grateful that I'm not at the end of my tether.

DB - The Vagabond
Results of the Weekend Puzzle


First place Grand Prize of the Mistletoe Tiara goes to Paula of the Email Lions

The second place prize, a subscription to Pine Cone News, goes to Salemslot9 of the Blogspot Tigers.

Nice going girls.


Big Mark 243 said...

I have read and re-read this post several times over.

Don't be surprised at the kindness of those who care for you that know you only by the words you express in your journal. My experience is that the power of words and the emotions that they evoke are truer a mark than the crafted image that a person can show you in person.

That you have souvenirs from you life is a good thing. You remember more by seeing them and if you don't have the details, you have what I call the essence of what was going on in your life at that time. I wish that I had kept stuff from my travels ... the big thing for me is who would ever believe I was fighting and training in Monte Carlo??

No, you aren't the man you were but you are the SUM of all of those men. All numbers are the same until they are brought together and fit into the equation. How you fit helps explain why friends helped you when you needed help.

As the memories of those internet-less weeks receed, the feelings can't completley be dispelled. Every time I see or think of the latest 'Star Trek' movie, Notre Dame football, and Big Ten basketball, I think of certain people... people who share a deep bond with me and we don't even know it.

We are all brought together purposefully, and I think that is what makes the meaning. Hope this made sense ... take it easy, greasy!!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Big Mark said it all, I couldn't top his words to you DB. Take care because I care about you as do all of us who read your site.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The Chocolate ones were devine :o) Glad that you are back on-line, and hope that you have no more problems.

Joyce said...

What Mark said (and very nicely, I might add). What else can we say. Isn't it wonderful to know you are loved, sight unseen, by your words and thoughts alone.
Hugs, Joyce

Valerie said...

How eloquent Mark is! Gee, I really don't think I would want to remember each and every day of my life. I really think that would be a curse. Sending love, Val xox