Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Remembrance - Part II: Disintegration

S. Dalì - The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory
I'd be lying if I said that this and the previous post do not stem from a very difficult moment I'm going through. All of a sudden, I saw my personal life turn upside-down. All the small habits that I once had and shared, which were so precious and which gave so much value to life - are gone. Forever.
Everything seems bleaker than it once was; even the world around me has a dismal and strange aspect, one I can hardly recognize. The normal order of things has changed irremediably, and all my fixed stars proved to be not so fixed after all. A series of dreams keep reminding me of my present state of tension, while others, in the past, anticipated it. Unfortunately, their message has only become clear with a hindsight; despite all my efforts, I was unable to correctly interpret them.

The Dragon has indeed smashed his way in, spitting fire, taking command, and rectifying my path; the decisions I wasn't able to make in the past because they were too painful, or because I was too blind, the Dragon has forced me to make them now, and he's now compelling me to move on.

Yet, no matter how much strength I might find in me, I still need something to cling on to, a port of call, a haven, a familiar nest where I can be nurtured and tender-rubbed on my belly.
The music of Ennio Morricone accompanies me as I write this post. To my side, a cup of organic bergamot flavored Earl Grey tea sends up warm gushes of vapor, as if it knew that warmth is what I need right now. The soothing and constant presence of a very special friend has been of great comfort and consolation.  

The rest is remembrance.
More than ever, in these moments our soul turns to the memory of certain beautiful and touching instants of the past. Yet, the realization that these splinters of time, which arouse the strongest emotions, are now long gone and that they represent the inevitable end of something beautiful endows them with a melancholic and gloomy backtaste.

What to do? To remember or not to remember?
Is Lee Strasberg right, do we have to wait seven years before we can safely use remembrance for our artistic and personal purposes?

Ennio Morricone's music is now slowly veering into more gentle and flannelly notes that seem to reflect the introspective and certainly pathetic nature of my questions.

Is it good to linger on painful remembrance? Or should we just stop sighing and finally let go of those memories?
My feeling, as of now, is that they are at once painful and comforting, and their persistence has the sweet taste of sorrow.

How can we so nonchalantly disintegrate them?



  1. Dear Jay:

    I’m so sorry; grieving losses is so hard. Hang on for dear life to the other things you love—music, tea, wise counsellors in favorite books, the transformative magic of language, your dog, your stars, and all of nature, Be especially good to yourself. Find solace where you can. Let the remembering or forgetting ebb and flow without letting it consume you. Easier said than done, but it sounds like acting training gives you good methods for channeling emotion. Keep writing. Winter through it. Be well.

  2. Christie,
    Oh, I don't know how I would do without my books, my cup of tea, the music, the stars, nature, and all my friends. And writing and acting do indeed give solace.
    Thank you for your kind words :)

  3. Although you're going through this painful period, Jay, you're also in a learning period. You may not see it now, but let time do its thing. In no time, you'll laugh again and your life will be back to normal. It's the circle of life. Regarding Lee Strasberg's comment, I disagree. When I broke up with my boyfriend ages ago, too long to remember, LOL, I was in writing mode. This pain inspired me to write. The break-up was the catalyst to my writing frenzy and I didn't have to wait seven years in order to safely use remembrance for my artistic purposes. Hope you, too, can find inspiration soon and not wait for seven years.
    Chin up!

    1. Oh, I'll tell you what, Claudia, sometimes I think about how surreal things are and the first reaction is to laugh out loud!!
      There's this Italian movie, and one of the characters who went through more or less what I'm going through, says to a friend: "I suffered like a dog for the longest 15 minutes!" LOL
      For what it's worth, I'm already inspired and I look forward to spilling some ink and putting everything down on paper!
      Thanks Claudia :)

  4. You will never forget them! They will be there when you need them. They will be a blessing. No need for the torture. If you remember whose you are and who you are, you are a different person every day. I let my self be beaten twenty years by a memory once. No need for that. Plus like Claudia says, you can write it out. Thanks so much for the positive comments on my blog.

  5. Jay,
    I'm so sorry you are going through a hard time. I believe there are seven stages to grief. I read a book called the Little Book of Grief. It really helped me when I lost a friend a few years ago.

    I look forward to getting to know you. :)

    (You can get through this...)

  6. Sorry to hear you're going through this. If you want to use these moments for art, write about them in a journal. Don't dwell though. Dwelling always leads me to trouble. Try to get your mind on something else--one of the major reasons I write.

    I can tell you, you will get through it and find happiness and value again. This experience and others will lead you to who and where you'll be in life. Sometimes those places are dark. But when you reach the really good ones, all those moments become worthwhile, too.

  7. Dan,
    I know that some people, without any effort, manage to forget the important things that happened in their life, or the important words that have been uttered to them. I'm not one of them. I know I'll be able to use all of these memories safely one day!
    Thanks, Dan.

    I also look forward to reading you next posts and getting to know you.
    I'll definitely try to find the book you mentioned once I'm done with Swann's Way :)
    Thanks for your kind advice.

    I have a journal where I write anytime I feel the need to.
    I've been writing a lot in these weeks, and I must admit it really helps.
    Hey, I've been having dreams lately, and for a reason or the other, they all involve stars! :)

  8. Gosh you do sound as if you are in such emotional pain and are going through some trauma. I am so sorry. I opt to never forget but to always remember correctly and with perspective.

    May music and art and creativity help you find the strength to go through what you are going through and make sense of it all. Take care

  9. Old Kitty,
    Admittedly, the days I wrote the post and edited it I was going through a moment of extreme emotional discomfort at its apex. Now I'm gradually getting better, viewing things from a more distant perspective, trying to stay away from everything and everybody that might cause fresh wounds to start bleeding again.
    Then, I write, and write, and write.
    Thanks for your dear words, Kitty :)
    Take care too!

  10. Jay, I read this post and nodded most of the way through. I am sorry to hear you are going through a painful time but as others have said, it is good you have your art to help you heal. Listen to music, write, do what you love and you will continue to move forward. I am now struggling with my ability to leave the pains of my past behind me. Sometimes I fear I never will but am trying to let go. I say don't wait to use remembrance in your work as claudia said. Write it out! Some of my best writing has come from pain.

  11. Cathy,
    I've had to take a break from acting during these three weeks, but you remember the haven I mentioned in the post? Writing, music, and the presence of some special friends have been that. And I have to say that receiving so many comments to my posts really helped a lot. :)
    I know you went through very painful moments too. Each time I visit your blog, I discover new details and realize how strong you must be to turn everything into the amazing art you make.
    Thank you for your kind words :)