Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Look Back

1. Don't Look Back
2. Spring Question
3. Contest Contest

Memories are slowly throbbing into forgetfulness.

Dana Bate
Hello Arauca, Colombia
There's a famous Japanese film called "Rashomon" directed by Akira Kurosawa. The story is about a husband and wife traveling through a forest. They are attacked by a bandit who rapes the wife. The husband dies. The story is played out 4 times and each time it's different. All three of the characters claim to have killed the husband, including the husband himself through the voice of a medium. But a simple rag picker who was hiding in the bushes and saw the event happen claims the husband accidentally fell on his own sword. It is a mystery that is never solved because we are not told which story is true if in fact any of them are.

What the movie depicts is the unreliability of subjective realism. Many of my memories, and yours, are fictionalized recreations of events that seem to have taken place. In all likelihood no film was made at the time you did things or things happened to you that you now grasp with certainty in your memory. If someone was there who witnessed the events and recalled them to you they might seem to be totally different experiences from the ones you remember.

That I like my version of the events I cherish in my memory is a comfortable state of mind but why should I hold on to a fiction, if that is what it is. We struggle to let go of bad memories. And so we should, because they negatively affect our lives. Lessons learned? Get on with life. But holding on to good memories may be just as destructive, particularly if they mislead us.

"Live for today. Live for the now." People are always saying things like that. I agree, but I say "Live for the future also." I think one of the best treatments for the condition known as oldness is to have a future and be working toward it. In fact having more than one future is preferable. The repetition of ones daily chores and duties loses its hum drum, threadbare old rags if it is helping to define a future.

I sometimes cite people, places and events from my past to illustrate a point in this journal. Some stories are rich enough in lessons to mention more than once, but I don't dwell on them.

Out behind the theatre there is a park with benches, and every day a small gathering of old men sit around, like birds on a fence, and talk about things. One of them tells about when he used to go fishing. Another one who was in the Navy during the war in the Pacific tells about surviving the typhoon, as if he was teaching a history class. A third who still has a head of hair tells the same old lame jokes about his "hairdresser." When I worked at the theatre and had a break, I would sometimes sit out in the back, at a respectable distance, and listen to them. I soon realized they were telling the same stories to each other over and over again. One of the younger ones once said to me "You see these old guys here? They can tell you what happened 40, 50, 60 years ago, but they can't remember what they had for breakfast It's pitiful." I kept wondering if one day one of those old coots would get tired of the repetition, get up and go do something brand new. I hope so.

It doesn't concern me to remember what happened 40, 50, 60 years ago, and I'm not worried if I can't remember what I had for breakfast, although I probably do. I'm only concerned if I can't remember what I was about to do. But give me a moment and I'll think of it. I'm not senile, just slow. I'm 72, I have a right to be slow.

So I let the memories throb themselves into oblivion while I think about what I'm going to do this afternoon, tomorrow, next week, next year. Every day is a new day and a new life.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

Only 6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.

Contest Contest

It's time to put the Ipod in its place.

I am stealing this one from Beth. Don't tell her.

Ipod = ________.

You are to come up with a song or other title in which you substitute the word "Ipod" for one or two of the other words. Example:

"Somewhere over the Ipod"

Answers will be published every day. Send them to:

Looking forward to your clever entries.


1 comment:

Big Mark 243 said...

Another entry that I find a lot of common ground with. It is not bad to recall the past but the eye should be on the now with an awarness of the future.