I finished another journal this afternoon, and I felt that at least a part of my thoughts were worth sharing, if only because I don’t believe I’m the only one who thinks this way. Whenever I come to the end of one of my jot books–call it a journal, a diary, a conscience, or a record–I like to leave it with some sense of roundness, a completion or sense of being tied off. Sometimes, in retrospect, these Last Pages are hilarious or sad or simply don’t quite go far enough to satisfy eyes that have more experience. In other instances, I feel the weight of their truth, whatever the subject matter might be.
Nothing Is Wasted
I feel like I’m in a lazy rut this morning. I have plenty of work to do and yet, I’m not doing it. Eight orders are sitting in my ToDo tray right now, but I just can’t quite seem to get started. Instead, I procrastinate–neither working on Pay Copy or developing creative pieces. I think about this and also something a writer friend posted on Twitter. He’s working on his first mystery novel, and a favorite fishing spot has now been repurposed in the narrative as a body dump. Nothing is ever wasted. No experience or memory is ever only what it is if we know how to use it. I see this as a general human characteristic, but it appears to be most frequently used by artists, musicians, and writers.
It’s not that we can’t do it, but that we seem to have bought into the concept of the sacrosanct nature of memory, of ideas. There’s a well-known bit of information about the nature of memory. Each time we recall an event or experience, what we are remembering is not the original sequence, the sensory data our brains first stored as a tight packet of information. No, what we recall is actually the last instance of recollection. Over time, the precision of our ability to recall does not change, but the nature of what we remember does. It would seem that we are mysterious, even to ourselves.
Awareness is a Slippery Thing
It occurs to me that I have all of this material, some of it quite fresh because I recorded it immediately after it happened. I have so many pigments, canvas, brushes, clay, metal, welding torches, chisels. I could create a museum’s worth of art, and all of it rides around in my head or within these pages. Yet, I haven’t quite figured out how it needs to put together yet, how to make it work for me. As I come to the end of this journal, I am left with several questions–or perhaps only one Question from different angles.
What will become of me?
And what will I make of my life with all I have been given?
I am not a clean page, no Voltaire’s Candide. Time here has marked me with the chatter and clangor of other souls, other lives not my own. Sometimes, I feel like sunlight glinting off water–restless and caught in the moment. At other times, I am both the mountain slope and the indigo of cloud shadows–a presence built of watching the shifts between light and its momentary absence. But always, I feel the awareness of my own impermanence heavy within me, like an anchor stone. It binds what I know as Me to this box of constantly fluttering, flickering cells which is not Me.
One day, I will leave this collection of energy and atoms, bacteria and strange organisms we never think about. Where will I go? For I can’t really ascribe the the dualism of Heaven or Hell, not with my education. What becomes of this brain, this mind and the imperfect memories that dwell somewhere within the soup of fat and water? What then will be known? What will I shape to be like a memory of all that? Not clear and crisp like a photograph, but more as a shadow on a silk frame–a dim, uncertain blossoming within the consciousness of others? What, the thought occurs without grimness, will be my gift of Sunlight and Cloud Shadow to the world?