The Perils of Remembering

First, you will know sorrow. And not just any sorrow, but the longing sorrow that comes with unfulfillment. Your soul will recall things that not even you can name, and it will want them back again. Sometimes, the old ways becomes an addiction, with all the problems an addiction brings: estrangement, loneliness, craving, even ruthlessness and double-dealing. Oh yes, double-dealing can be one of the first symptoms.

Other times, the past brings fear. Fear can be one of the worst things, in my opinion, having seen so many truly talented people stifle themselves and hide out of fear. Could they have been something great? Did they have a destiny to claim? Oh, most assuredly. We all have our destinies. The world can never know just how wonderful the fearful’s destiny was, because he chose not to claim it and he stagnated.

Most times, though, you will forget to look for joy. There are happy memories as well as sad, yet most people, myself included, seem to hover over the dark and still thoughts. The emotions connected with these are much stronger, this is true. But joy also has the power to bring forth tears. To keep perspective, one has to remember to search for such memories alongside the bad ones.

Second, you will know confusion. The human brain, for all its wonderful complexities, is also short-circuited. One watches Star Wars and they want so much to be like Luke that they fabricate memories for themselves. The human brain has this power; it is a protection device. And there are a lot of things in this crazy world to be protected from, even yourself.

It begins with the longing, the wishing, and then the deep soul-searching until “memories” spring forth. (I was there, George Lucas must be Otherkin, how else could he get the ways of the Force so accurately? I had a teacher just like Kenobi…) It is true there are a lot of creators who may “remember”. But most times they’ll take one memory, one fragment of a spark, and build their entire tale around it. In the telling, details change to become bigger and brighter and bolder. This phenomenon can be illustrated in the old gossip game where everyone sits in a circle and a statement is whispered in someone’s ear. The whisper-recipient then whispers it to another, then the statement is whispered to another, until the final player recites out loud what he was told. Rarely is the statement accurately passed around. This is what happens during the creative process.

Confusion can be just as dangerous as addiction. One should take their memories slowly, very very slowly, and watch their step. One step too far and you might topple into the abyss, into insanity, and only mighty strength can pull you back out again. Then you will know the pain of sorrow again, for you must damn what you remembered and start from scratch. You must be careful what you read and watch and think, for any of those might be false.

Third, and finally, you will know change. They say change is a good thing. Most times, your heart would argue with that. When lovers part forever, that is change and it brings pain and sadness, even if that relationship was bad and breaking up is the good way. It is so with anything else. Your baby turns one, you’re happy and sad. After all, although your child is healthy and growing up strong as he should, he is no longer your tiny infant to suckle at your breast. There has been a gradual change, and it has brought both happiness and sadness.

Remembering brings about changes in personality, perspective and environment. Once, you were timid. Then, you remembered squelching mighty armadas under your technological thumb. Something inside you clicks; you change, you revert. The next person who harrasses you suddenly experiences surprise: you punch his nose.

Perspective is affected in the same moment. You once saw yourself as bottom wolf, as the titmouse to hide from the owls. Now you know you were once an owl, the pack leader, and you are driven to command that power again. You see the world as your oyster, and you want pearls.

Environment tumbles in after. Pearls are riches. What is around you, your environment, is no longer adequate. You begin to change things to suit yourself. Sometimes it comes in small ways: the planting of a special tree or moving closer to the forest. Other times, it comes in tragic ways: you leave your spouse, you homeschool your children, you run for President.

And all the world is affected. It can be in an obvious or hidden manner. Obvious: the book you write, the people you contact through the e-list you’ve begun, those who follow you faithfully into Waco. Hidden: the influential person you support, the canvas you colored and gave to the rich plantation owner, the insane babble spouted across the board, ignored by most.

The world cannot help this. We are all in a helpless circle.

In conclusion, beware the perils of remembering. It is a blackberry-brambled path. You’re going to be nicked and are bound to bleed. You run the chance of being scarred, or your skin becoming too tough to absorb the next lesson. Learn to not skirt these dangers, but look through them and find the berries they protect. Sometimes they can be sour; many times they can be sweet. All will be earned in the right way, and it will be worth it.

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