Drifting for a focus

I dunno what to do in this space. 

I’m kinda exhausted with political rants, and I don’t really feel, I dunno, super qualified/ enthusiastic about regular pop culture type reviews. 

For a while, it was like a journal that happened to be online, and among other things I used it as a space to think out loud and work through interpersonal issues where every other avenue of conversation/ resolution had been shut down.

But recently I’ve come to realize those individuals/ disagreements are really just situations I’d rather leave behind and forget. Purge and prune from the blog; erase the words and memories. 

My favorite thing to write/ talk about is often psychology/ neuroscience and the ways it can intersect with environment. The whys of human behavior … but I usually end up there when trying to figure out why so-n-so did thus n such inexplicable thing, and that leads me back to the things I’d rather forget. I suppose its a form of editing the past. 

I used to think that was dishonest. Now I realize its nature’s default, and that’s good. I think a side effect of forgetting is relationship preservation, because its harder to nurse a tiny stupid grudge without being able to revisit the record of it. It’s harder to mull it over and get pulled down into a dark spiral contemplating the wrongs been done to you. Not impossible, but harder. In this way, the frailty of memory is a gift that allows us to mend fences, move on, and forgive. 

But records and bookkeeping were developed to augment our faulty memories–to facilitate storage and trade, banking and sales. The first written records were of grain storage, but soon poetry, scripture, and literature followed–and, of course, graffiti. Memories to outlast a fickle hearts, and even survive the passing of transient flesh. 

In Pompeii, a lovelorn (or spiteful) youth wrote, “Marcellus Praenestinam amat et non curator,” on the wall of a house, which translates to, “Marcellus loves Praenestinam, but she doesn’t care for him.”

Did Marcellus write it? Praenestinam? A jealous rival hoping to sow discord with the happy couple? Who knows. All we know, centuries down the line, is that someone, at some point, linked the names of Marcellus and Praenestinam in a single sentence that paints a familiar story of love, longing, and rejection, regardless of the actual truth of the situation.

I was explaining to my husband the other day that I take photographs as memories, because my memory stutters so unreliably. I cannot recollect the sound of my mother’s laughter, or the sound of her voice, because I have no recordings of them. 

For me, the tangible evidence of love–photographs, art, letters, texts, recordings, etc– is the most precious, because that is the love an individual has prepared and curated through a lifetime to comfort those who grieve through their loss. 

It is a distinct sort of heartbreak and tragedy to me when the record a person spends a lifetime curating of themselves is filled with impatience, cruelty, demands, insults, reproach, vitriol, mockery, and unkindness. 

I have a few such texts and emails stored in the cloud; reminders of long-forgotten disagreements resulting in longer silences and schisms. Sometimes I re-read them, my heart clenching, and wonder if these will be the words that always define the relationship–if the golden warmth of sunny afternoons, shared laughter, and smiles will inevitably fade into to ashes and dust under the cold, black and white reality of insults on a glowing screen.

I have some creative writing pieces, artwork, letters, and stuff– memories I’ve created, collected, and hoarded over the years, but never organized. I’m kinda thinking that instead of spending time writing entries, I might just start scanning and uploading shit, or copy/pasting old creative writing projects from Dropbox. I dunno. 

If I did, I’d probably schedule those posts for Thursdays. 


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