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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Words on memories, food, and always more questions.

        It used to be something of a need.  Now  I only get by on a force of will.  The needs have degraded into ill-suited habits and the best of my actions are a memory not so attached to reality.  Therein lies a potential question.  What is a memory but a skewed perception of a time-space point?
We store some information with a purpose but most with no conscious reason.  I keep track of the clock because 20 minutes after the rice pot starts boiling, I need to turn it off.  When I focus on a specific element, the rest of life at the time fades off.  I must be doing the other parts of cooking a meal but I can't pick them out.  My memory is serving a purpose on several accounts.  Some purposes are more transient.
        Food is an interesting builder of situations because it is primal and refined.  Eating comes after breathing on our list of needs but we have cultivated the development of food to a high art.  Even the chemistry experiment that is fast food is developed.  The foods I can recall are situational.  Part of me is still there when I think of a candy bar at the top of a mountain, a bratwurst outside of Fenway Park, a drunken pretzel in Baltimore, or fresh picked concord grapes and farm milk at my grandmother's.  Why was all of that acutely stored when they were not the best meals I have ever had? I can't recall most of the food I cooked and I know I have made some pretty good dinners.  Perhaps it is because as I am making, my focus is on the product and my memory is telling me what did work and what failed.  Where did I put the knife? How long should I leave the chicken on the grill?  I eat then to both enjoy the fruits of my labor and to identify the process that led to something good or into a gooey mess of over-seasoned tastelessness.
        I have notes and scraps of poorly written slopes of letters detailed in repetitive doodles all over the place.  When I look back at some of these things, I can find the time-space I was in, which is odd because I had to have been focusing on the words and not my surroundings.
        Then again, my son likes to point out things when we drive that are fairly inconsequential but not to him. "That's where mommy got her glasses."  He states every time we passed the glass shop that we went to once over a year ago.  We weren't in their long but he knows where it is.  Something about that visit made an imprint on him and became a part of who he is.  The way he understood the waiting room and the shelves of eyeglasses or the lady at the desk or the parking lot or something else caused him to build a bigger picture of the world.  Maybe that's why my memories are less sensory and more pragmatic through age.  I have stuffed my head with a world view and now I need to focus on items I have deemed important.
        How wonderfully vivid my younger recollections can be.  The more recent ones are distilled down to important elements, not the taste of the breeze, sting of hot sand or cold water, the way my space in that time made me alive and free in that knowledge.  My only hope now is to focus on creating and exploring.  At least I may make some cool art and take Daniel James to some cool places.

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