November 1, 2005

my information glut part 2: memory

If a life was a library, and every second of experience was categorized away, each person's stacks gain complexity every minute -- thousands of new categories, tags, lost books, cross references, and mislabeled images, growing exponentially. It was a library with some key images and ideas, and at 22 years, it's a messy, gargantuan compedium. Certain stuff stays at the forefront, more or less organized, and the rest gets tossed in the back, with the nostalgic, the once-profound, once-relevant, and the things-i'd-rather-forget.

(And then you go into the corner and read the unicorn skulls ...) There's that gray place that's strangely hyperactive. We "can exist in curious states that combine aspects of both sleep and wakefulness, indicating that the two are not always mutually exclusive." (here, here)

I always wake up in REM sleep these days -- the worst part of your sleep to awaken from. So every morning I'm in a kind of liminal daze, not sure which place to go and which I'm in. It's those seconds I forget if the dream about the boy playing the piano facing the wall was real or not, or if it was evoked by touching his hand. Which one did I make up and which one was real?


andrea said...

stop it, stop it, stop it, jean!!! you're rubbing off on me! :D

why not sit back, relax, and let your brain do all the thinking-work for you? soak everything up? sip some juice from a cup?

i began reading this, and "hard-boiled wonderland/end of the world" entered my head... later, yr mention of unicorn skulls kinda confirmed for me that you've read it, too.

but i hope that the book gives you a sense of comfort rather than a sense of unease. funny, i haven't read that book in a while. maybe i'm saying the "wrong" things about it...

but the one time i did read it, i was in china with my moms, last july! aha!

but back to the brain. maybe it's just the best & simplest thing to do to trust that your brain is making its own convolutions, those little wrinkly things. the more you think and age (hopefully those 2 things run hand in hand...), the more your brain wrinkles.

"Get wrinkles!" reads a teacher's poster from my childhood.

and not to sound holier or hoity-toity, but it does help to meditate. you know this. the fun side of meditation is visiting monasteries and churches and...mosques, if we're lucky. i've been meaning to visit the mormon church in the east oakland hills (it's right by the chabot space & science center).

cool down, jean!

jean said...

"soak everything up? sip some juice from a cup?" -- sounds like ts eliot!

yeah, you're right. it's not worth getting mussed up over things you can't control -- like the subconscious.

i had a conversation about this last night (the times when you're mind is overwelmed with a thousand simultaneous thoughts, firing off nanoseconds after the next, and not really any clarity) ... just out of control 300 kmph thinking tangents and tangents. and one of the things i suggested was "physical activity" ... and the other thing i suggested was "meditation"! (the thing is, i always have great solutions for other people that i never use for myself).

it would be interesting to hear about your visit to the mormon church -- no offense to any mormons, but that church creeps the fuck out of me. (it's so windowless sci fi!)