Spoonful by Spoonful
Wednesday February 3, 2016
I read of a man who digested glass. I heard an NPR story one time about a woman who remembered her life day by day and hour by hour. It reminds me of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot, these lines:
“In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”
What is it she remembers, this woman with a documentary mind? The smells of Thanksgiving? The sadness of Uncle Ricky’s untimely departure from the planet? Or that they had mushroom gravy in 1961 at exactly 2:30 as they sat by the wintry window in Lexington when she was an age you can count on two hands, just once?
Memory is identity’s strand of silk, and the pearls its nacreous stories. I remember eating plastic pearls when I was eight and knew they were not meant to be eaten. Maybe I was eating stories. Maybe I’m making up this story. There is a mirage ahead.
Imagination doesn’t live in the body though the brain feeds it. Imagination gloriously underestimates the time it takes to do things because it’s all wild stallions leaping out of earth-time’s corral.
Guest saddle: What parts of your life are measured? What imagined?