Thursday, June 18, 2009

Memory



The memory distills. Memory distills. It comes out whole and is mercilessly dessicated by the infinite neurological structures of the mind. We experience, we live, and we remember, and we call this remembering 'life', but it is not. It is the art we make of life. The image that holds the emotion in one shot. The snatches of words that encapsulate the beauty. The smell that recalls the terror.

I remember like this:

Dr. Tseng ' So your tests came out just fine..it looks like you are pregnant' his face smiling wide Asian smile

Mr. Curry on the cell phone ' What? Are you serious?' the sound of my footsteps echoing in the underground parking

Swinging open the doors of my work, my smile enormous, their faces expectant

The toilet's smooth clean white face, my vomit

My mom 'Let's celebrate! Let's go to dinner'

The store's long hallways of food making me sick

Mr. Curry's hands on my stomach

Lola singing to the baby

Dakota ' Mom! Congratulations! ' he is actually happy about this baby

Ian's easy acceptance

My voice 'Watch out for my stomach'

The ultrasound, the baby, the heartbeat, Mr. Curry's hand in my hand, his eyes

The night, the dark, the bed, the pain, the blood

' Wake up honey I think I'm having a miscarriage'

'No!'

The rest for Mr. Curry and I. Memories that will never be remembered exactly right, colors off, faces changing, blurring, voices too high or too low, but the distillation will capture the right temperature of our hearts, the terror in the rushing sudden breaking of Nature in my body, the experience of human life in one rapid crack of the frozen lake, when we fall in the water and simply struggle to stay aware of what is happening.

Then, the smoke of memories.

*photo, Petrina Hicks
Ms. Moon said...

You got it exactly right. Memory is the mind and heart, working together to create the art of memory.

Cid said...

Saturday would be my Samantha's 13th birthday. I will never forget her but now that the pain has dimmed I say to myself, "If she had lived I would have a daughter and I would be living with a teenager but my sons wouldn't be who they are." Each day you are healing Maggie, each day you are there for your family as they are there for you.

Badass Geek said...

This hurts, but I can only imagine the volume of hurt you feel.

I'm sorry.

Bee said...

Last year, my daughter was kicked in the mouth by a horse -- and mercifully she remembers almost nothing about that long horrible 24 hours of blood and pain and fear and hospitals. I remember snatches; many of which replay in my brain on a weekly basis. This will grow less over time, I'm sure.

Your mind must be so flooded with memories now; your pain is still so raw. Thankfully, the grooves of remembered experience wear down over time.

nfmgirl said...

It never ceases to amaze me that, even amid such pain and despair, you can write so beautifully of your tragedy. It's hard to reconcile how such tragedy can still be so beautiful.

Court said...

Oh...I can't even explain how deep this got into me...

You are such a good writer.

Miss Grace said...

((hug))

Elizabeth said...

The last passage of this post is what I'll always remember. Your writing of memory (and other stuff that you've posted) brings to mind Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved." Have you ever read it?

Steven G said...

I read you and wonder how you sleep at night.

I know you will, as we all eventually do, but when I sense the
rythym of your poetry, I daydream about your ability to fall asleep. In the middle of my night, I think about you. Dave King is right on, as always.



steven g

Lacey said...

Memories are such a blur. This was so beautiful.

Lola said...

All I can say is it gets easier in time. Simple words are all I've got, but it's the truth.

katiecrackernuts said...

Forever, sorry. For better or worse. Not sure which. Will be different on different days. Love. Love. Love. All I can send.

Maggie May said...

Elizabeth- I have read Beloved. I found it very hard to get through. It is of such profound sadness, it's like one long keen of grief. Terrific writer, thank you for the comparison.

Hey Harriet said...

You are such an amazingly gifted writer!

bellarum said...

...but the distillation will capture the right temperature of our hearts...

Perfect! That's exactly the way it is. We can never recreate it exactly the way it was, but we certainly can recreate the feelings we had in the moment.

I wish you healing and peace, Maggie.

Sharon said...

Five stages of grief. These stages are written in textbooks, but you don't really believe they exist until you have to go through them: 1.denial & isolation
2.anger
3.bargaining
4.depression
5.acceptance
I hope you can work your way to acceptance so the new memories can begin.

Margo said...

stunning details that convey infinitely more about the truth than anything else could, I think. Thank you :)

Beth said...

We need the memories - good and bad - in order to carry on. And to be able to express them so well in words does help.

Dana's Brain said...

Keep holding on to Mr. Curry and the rest. And know that there are a lot of people out here thinking of you and lending a virtual shoulder to lean on.

Quenchant of the Curious said...

your words bring me through a whirlwind of throbbing images, voices and emotions. a powerful caption, maggie. (hug)

Jeanne said...

And when we take our memories and transliterate them into words, even more is lost in the telling, swinging hand-over-hand across the zipline that negotiates the chasm from the right brain, where our emotions live, to the left, which owns all the words.

Laura said...

Hang in there sweetie... the memories will get less painful. I promise.

Valentine said...

You write with such grace. Its something that I truly admire. I'll be honest and say that you made me tear up a little.

I have no words.. but I send my love to you and your family.

xx

V

Vodka Mom said...

well aren't YOU INCREDIBLE???

Where have YOU BEEN???


wow. I'm in awe of your talent.

anymommy said...

"One rapid crack of the frozen lake." I am so so sorry for your painful memories, Maggie and so in awe of your expression.

The Girl said...

You literally just took my breath away, stole it right out of my mouth and now it's gone. You've put to words what I can't. My God. Your words, while so... envoking? Are so beautiful. Thank you for writing. I feel in shock, but so grateful. You got it just right, just exactly right.

Woman in a Window said...

At times like these I almost wish you weren't such a formidable writer because when you capture it, here, see, in the hand, and then show it, it is raw and real.

Barrie said...

I think it is so good that you're writing all of this down. xo

Quixsa said...

how the outcome colors the experience.
Beautiful, tragic.

Magpie said...

I hope you're taking good care of you.

And writing the memory, remembering the memory, is good - it helps.

previous next