where I been
Out in the snow with the camera getting pictures, these footprints to where I was standing stood out for a moment as an image of the past. The past is gone, never to return, but as we go along, step by step, moment by moment, we leave footprints. We all leave our own. The footprints we leave are the record of our past and particular to us individually. The news is talking about carbon footprints now, trading carbon footprints. I was thinking along the lines of our own detritus that falls from us everywhere we go, things we lose, words we say, general attitudes we leave in our wakes going through the day. These footprints of experiences are called our karma.
You might say our karma is what we carry with us from the past. The collection of our experiences create who we are, each one of us unique, because our varieties of experiences are unique to each individual, and the interpretation of those experiences. We can interpret experiences the same as we interpret dreams. The morning I found a turkey egg against the bottom of the door started me wondering about everyday life experiences the same as dreams. When you think about it, we perceive with our senses, sight, hearing, smell and taste, very subjective senses that pay attention to something of interest to the individual only. Different people have different interpretations of the same thing. Wm Faulkner would tell a story several times from various perspectives, each one a different story from the others.
Thoughts of the past tend to bring Jr to mind for his attitude toward it that the past is done and gone. It's over. The present is all there is. I think of melodramatic Masha from Chekhov's The Seagull. She says, I drag my life, a dead weight, after me, like the train of an endless dress....One must shake oneself and throw it all off. I came to suspect fairly strongly that Jr shook himself and threw the past off periodically, maybe every day. I also suspect he didn't like to look backward at the past because of what lay there for him, graves and heart aches he couldn't have made it through without his friend white liquor. I also believe he would say his indifference to the past is simply because it's nothing. I have a hard time talking about Jr in the past.
With minds that run continually, we can't help but think about the past even if we don't want to. The time Jr was incarcerated in Independence against his will, he told me one day about his concerns about his money being taken care of and not abused. The nursing home audited Ross's accounting with Jr's checkbook paying Jr's bills, and it came out he was not doing any misdeeds. I told Jr he has nothing to worry about. He smiled and said, "I have to think about somethin. There's nothin else to do in here." The same goes for out here, for anywhere. If there's a human mind anywhere, it's thinking. When I'm in NYC I feel a buzz of energy there that makes me want to get in motion and do something. I come back home and it's gone. That's where the go-getters are. A cluster of several million of them can generate a lot of psychic energy.
Memory is imperfect when it's good. It's really imperfect when it's bad. That's all we have of the past, imperfect memory. Sometimes it's what is called false memory. I've found I had several of them, and probably a great many more I haven't found. I've stumbled over enough to convince myself without intending to that I can't trust my memory. And that's ok. Because that's how it is. I'll always remember Jr saying 2 weeks before last breath, "I've gotta go to the hospital." I asked why. He said, "To find out what's wrong with my mind." This was after it had been gone a few months. I see my memory in decline after seeing his decline so rapidly when it went, and I know this is a natural process. That's how I felt about it with Jr. My part was to make him able to live at home despite having no mind left. I remembered details for him, like names.
For myself, I feel a kind of relief seeing memory dim. It's that much of the past I can't think about. I find my mind races less. It hardly races at all any more. A lot of the time I'll have a blank mind with nothing going on in it. I find it relaxing. I don't care to think about the moral bankruptcy of our corporate society any more. I can only respond to it with my boycott of one; separate myself from it as much as I can and go on living. It's not like it can be got away from without going off to the Yukon. Even then, there's the occasional coffee. Cartridges for a high powered rifle, the rifle.
There's no getting around the corporate indifference to the American people, which our corporate run government has adopted. We good Americans internalize our rage and it comes out someplace else that's altogether unrelated and inappropriate. One of those moments that make me say, Where'd that come from? Then we need prozac, zoloft and any of a thousand others. Depressed. There's no fulfillment. We've been reduced over the last half century from Americans who took pride in their work to peasants. We want more and more to be told what to do. In China, they hate it. Here, it's what we want. They would be happy to trade with us in that way. If people like Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney had absolute control, could execute at will, we'd have the same as China. We're no further than that away from it. We're well advanced into control by fear.
I'm looking at starting tomorrow to dig out the car. The road scraper has piled up the snow between it and the road as high as the hood. It's at least 10' to the road. I need to dig a trench a little wider than the car and that long. I'll go easy at it as shoveling snow is heart attack activity. Esp for somebody as out of shape as I've let myself go. I don't mind the spirit leaving the body. I like that part. But I don't want to leave a corpse by the side of the road for the next person driving by to find, stiff and cold. He's dead! Then freak out not knowing what to do. Get on the cell phone. Call 911. Old turd dead by the road, fingers clenching a snow shovel handle like Charleton Heston's cold dead hands on his rifle. Maybe I'll let the snow melt. I've got no place to be any time soon.