Thursday, February 14, 2008

Insulation



Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even
forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
"

Billy Collins


I was going to post a picture of some of my "memory aids" here but, out of concern for personal safety, opted not to. Suffice it to mention that these "aids" are piled/stacked/organized by my bed, by my desk, by my sofa. Basically, any furniture in the house has a "by my" pile associated with it. Yes, the memory has bee slipping for a while. I believe if I read less or had less books, less would be forgotten. I, however, am of the thinking that, perentage wise, the amount of forgetting as a function of the quantity of printed matter located within the property lines is significantly less than if I had a smaller inventory of books. While the books forgotten quantity may be the same, upping the composition of the divisor, i.e. # of books on hand, makes my forgetten books % lower.


That's my rationalized outlook on keeping the printed words around and I'll stick by it.
Besides, it's been rather chilly lately and the books stacked against the house's outer walls has been keeping us warm.

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Comments:
Glad to see you're blogging again. My RSS aggregator just wasn't the same without its daily feed of pertinence. Does this mean your computer is out of rehab? -- Charlie
 
Out of rehab? Well, I now have a Dell, which, as you probably know, is a PITA to restore with previous settings, files, and setups. Not a Mac; it needs much more work before it shares the love.

Not having a new PC in a while, what I find particularly odious is the junk that Dell loads on the PC that you didn;t ask for. All I want is the operating system. What's this AOL stuff; isn't AOL under or on the way there?
Getting rid of this junk is a waste of my time and another reason to not purchase a Dell again.

But 'nough about that. I appreciate you hanging in there, Charlie. My postings may be a bit on the grumpier side for a while. This Dell thing aas really got me going.
 
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