Grief, memory, synchronous time

Motivated to write mostly because of a reduced availability of humans to talk to for hours. So let’s just send out speech, produce speech “as if” it were somehow meaningful without a specific listener, to the “internalised other” (which one?), or as a magic spell.

The anonymous listener of the internet, some handy magic.

Thoughts and wider ranges of thoughts, too personal actually to feed to the internet – I didn’t think there’d be such a thing. It might be that as I reconnect to emotion, everything just starts feeling more personal, and as I start feeling boundaries, I start feeling when I’m crossing them.

Writing on this blog again as a daily warm-up exercise to start producing something more substantial?

Perhaps continue writing unsent letters to various people in the past? That seemed like a fun literary pastime.

I’ve recently searched my e-mail archive to read old correspondence with a person I wrote an unsent letter to. It’s amazing how I 1) ignored [and forgot] repeated explicit messages that went against my assumptions 2) what range of things didn’t register, registered only when reading letters years later.

Then, the discovery of the past …

That stuff can actually be past.

I realised that up to now, I had somehow lived my life as if everything were happening simultaneously – I don’t know if everyone is like that, or if my memory is exceptionally vivid, graphic and emotional – but there’s no distinction between things that happened yesterday and those from 10, 20 and 30 years ago (that’s about as far as I can reach; though on a somatic level I believe I can find recognisable memories from even earlier).

Good, anonymous listener, I see you are still listening. Thanks. Invisible, imaginary listener.

[That’s why I couldn’t write for a decade … I’d lost the silent, non-local listener.]

So, I discovered the past. I discovered that I’d probably never in my life closed anything as “past”. Anyways, what does it mean to “close” a case? I realised that maybe I do live too close to the ghosts; maybe that’s, heck, why the spirits never feel too far away? It was yesterday, it was in 1989, or 2007, I don’t care, I can feel it directly, and I can feel the presence of people who have stopped talking to me ten years ago, or who died. Why doesn’t my mind seem to have an update mechanism?

I also realise that I keep forgetting that the dog died … for 7 years now?

It’s also strange for me to realise that I’m not 4 … or 12. I mean who cares? I can travel back to the feelings. Can I also travel forward? That, for some reason, has always filled me with dread. It still does … in a bored moment I can go and explore that dread; taste it and see what’s in it. After all, there’s probably nothing to fear if everything is synchronous anyways and happens all at once; has already happened.

I remember when I was perhaps 20 … 22 … and I formed the intellectual concept that heck, time is really not linear. Not in my experience. Not at all. It’s a complex topology that can be traveled, at will, or sometimes by accident.

That’s “subjective time”. But is it only subjective time?

Experiential time.

The yearly birthday reflection; a decision, or perhaps a somewhat insipid half-intention to stop getting depressed that another year has passed and I still don’t feel like “this is it”; I’m just tired of feeling that way; I might as well decide to just feel “this is it” whatever it is at the moment. There is always wonder. I don’t like everything, but maybe it’s meant to be a field of tensions and wonders and not the static “perfect” state I had somehow always imagined reaching.

That I’d somehow been striving to reach.

Maybe I’m old enough to realise it’s afternoon, the sun starts going lower and softer, and I can relax. Time is running backwards anyways, so what is there to worry about.

Grief. The next topic … in this stream. Checking back what I’ve just written about above. Ah, synchronous time. Maybe it’s linked – no grief, no sense of time? No grief, no sense of distance in time? Would it be a relief to feel a distance in time towards some things?

Also, another recent insight.

In practice, my memories belong to me – my experiential, felt memories. Most of them can’t be verified either way; but in any case, in as far as memory is reactivate-able experience, it’s mine; it’s like a bag of raw materials that I’ve accumulated over the years.

A bag of images, emotions and sensations in the body; meanings, configurations of them, interpretations, beliefs. And heck, you know what? It’s mine; I own it. Means I can rewrite it for my pleasure. Nobody will care – nobody will know. Nobody will correct me.

Now I’m thinking about a bad movie about memory rewriting; no, not in that way; not in a denial way. Just seeing it for what it is, stories and sensations ingrained in the body; nothing else in this moment that exists; these are mine and I can turn some of them into friends.

Ridiculous realisations that I’ve been living in the past most of the time; and an inaccurate past, most likely. It I lived through it now again, I’d see something else. The funny thing is, I can actually do that – live through it again now, and see something else. Above all, see the relativity of it. See that it’s faint markings on flimsy paper.

It might be healthy to wander through it again, just to see that now, in many cases.

It’s flimsy paper, and it will become flimsy paper. Except those that hold magic spells; that stay present and in a way become a dwelling place; but in this whole flimsy story, let me choose my dwelling.

Are you bored or tired, listener?

I’ve wondered a few years ago, when I felt like I already have too many memories, too many vivid images and emotions to hold inside, what it would be like to be old – to hold, say, 80 years of it. Heck. Now I’m less than half of that and I think, it’s probably a blessing to forget. It’s good from time to time to choose a few precious things to keep, dust the rest off. Would you lose your identity?

In the past I would have thought “yes”; maybe that’s why I clutched memories. Once an identity is found and established in the present, one based more on feeling and sensing, maybe this feels different.

The past is sensed in any case, or perhaps it is imaginary, but it does not feel “lost”. I think it is necessary to cleanse the body through grief; create felt distance in time, but also … remove obstruction and make the past available in some other way.

Maybe in a more quiet, grounding way. It becomes part of the ground; a very silent and quiet ground, yet one that you walk on.

Instead of carrying it.

One thought on “Grief, memory, synchronous time

  1. Your mind can “time travel” because it has kept all that past data in storage. It can also manufacture data for a future that hasn’t happened yet. Like a Star Trek holodeck. It isn’t literal time travel but it sure seems close.

    Liked by 1 person

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