Forgotten & Found

Salt Flats - Salduro, Utah 1
Salt Flats – Salduro, Utah 1
Salt Flats - Salduro, Utah 2
Salt Flats – Salduro, Utah 2
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

That idea, potent, yet half-formed did have to be put down, but not put away – it would yield treasure should I return to it. My father, a plastics chemist, evolved a habit of downloading his mind into moleskins as his best tack for moving past interruption and returning to most current endeavor. Years later I would discover Evernote, a digital means of recording texts or MP3s of current and next ideas without losing them. Scott Smith (Motivation to Move) and Dave Allen (author of Getting Things Done) would both advocate the practice of downloading one’s mind and a system for organizing those ideas into workable and profitable work. Tonight, enough things have occurred organizationally to allow me to uncover and sift through months of notes, curious quotations and ideas (mine) and the trajectory upon which they can move were I to breathe Life into them.

Curious Ideas to Consider (from Moleskin pages)

(1) “… Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can’t be consistently fair or kind or generous or forgiving [any of these] without courage.” – Maya Angelou (in conversation with Krista Tippett, ‘On Being’ podcast)

(2) On Photography – “In composition the important thing is to isolate and simplify.” – Tony Sweet (in conversation with Ibarionex Perello, ‘The Candid Frame’ podcast)

(3) The BBC reported 07 August 2014 that dementia has been linked to lack of exposure to sunlight; my father has Alzheimer’s Disease.

(4) Love Your Enemy (what doing so also means) – it involves the courage to be vulnerable with those with whom you passionately disagree; it requires that you consider what in your own position troubles you, and, that you consider that which resides in the other person’s position that attracts you – an idea from an ‘On Being’ podcast dealing with American Civil Rights.

(5) “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” – Laugh-ins’ Lily Tomlin (in conversation with Krista Tippett, ‘On Being’ podcast)

Part of tonight’s treasure has been the scribble containing music heard as far back as January, this year. My scrawl was the result of auditory capture; listening to CKUA while down in Edmonton I heard two songs – the first, was a quiet, fingerstyle rendering of the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction from James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf; the other, was a take on U2’s ‘With or Without You,’ most likely offered by Sarah Darling … tonight is my first chance to hear it again and to purchase it.

Forgetfulness
by Billy Collins

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.

The poem reminds of George Smiley in one of Le Carre’s MI-5 novels and the personal wisdom of relaxing his mind and letting that half-forgotten idea, concept or name resurface in its time (relax and let your mind have the time … it will come).

Images presented here include the blue and white contrast of Utah’s salt flats as well as a black and white edit of the same image. As well, there’s the road from the interstate to the Bonneville Speedway – Speed Week is next week.

Quote to Consider – “Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. Most subjects photographed are, just by virtue of being photographed, touched with pathos.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Listening to – Sarah Darling’s rendering of ‘With or Without You’ and John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley’s ‘Ruby Tuesday,’ ‘Wild Horses,’ and ‘Satisfaction.’

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