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Building memory

Posted Oct 20 2010 12:00am 2 Comments

It rained yesterday. Soft gentle drops that wafted in and out like a breeze through an open window for a brief and refreshing moment and then it was gone.

I was in the water.

Lying on my back, my face turned up to the sky, my ears submerged beneath the surface.

I call it the 'angel pose.' I lie on my back, ears submerged and draw my arms up and down, up and down along my torso, like angel's wings floating gracefully in the air. Weightless, I listen to my breathing. Inhalation. Exhalation. In. Out. My breath echoes in my head. Other-worldly. Sonorous. All other sound recedes to a distant murmur of memory as I focus on this moment, right now, in which I exist in perfect harmony with my environment. Silky water streams across my skin. My body rises and falls to the swell of the ocean. That rich and deep atmosphere that carries me effortlessly in its arms.

And then, yesterday it rained as I floated, angel pose extended upon the water. Tiny pinpricks of water falling from the sky, they peppered the water's surface with a beautiful tympani of sound resonating throughout my mind and body.

Pure delicious sound! Utterly delightful.

We are building memories to last a lifetime here. Like a coral reef forming around one solitary polyp upon the bed of the ocean, my memory reef began with one single moment, our arrival on this island paradise. Like the reef, nourishing itself, replenishing itself, building itself up, each element essential and vital to the structure of the reef, each segment alive and beautiful in its formation, my reef grows more rich and vibrant with each passing moment. New moments attach themselves and memory deepens. Flowers emerge. Colours vibrate and memory comes alive. You can't change a memory, only enrich it, enliven it and develop it with every passing moment spent reveling in the wonder and joy of being alive in this moment in paradise.

Last night at dinner, I told my companions, "This is one of those moments where you just want to stop time, to stop its constant passing-by, to have more time to soak up the essence of the moment, to immerse yourself in the wonder of this place where we are, at one, with the world around us."

We were at dinner at The Cliff . A beautiful, seaside restaurant that sits on a slight promontory of rock overlooking the waves that rolled into shore in a constant swirl of sand-tossed breakers and frothy foam tipped surf.

Torch lights shone in the dark-night. Candles glowed in wrought iron wall-sconces that lined the open-aired walls of the restaurant. The staff floated throughout the room, anticipating diners wants, tending to their needs.

We sat on the deck, the beach beneath us, the surf pouring relentlessly against the sand. We laughed and chatted and teased and shared our meals and gratitude for being together for this special time.

We had dressed up especially for the occasion. Sleek expanses of silk and glitter-strewn chiffon, white diaphanous organza, the men in linen and cotton.

Andy wanted to treat us all to a special night out, and it was. Very, very special.

There is something about eating outside on a warm sultry west Indies night. Sounds are richer. Touch more sensitive. Tastes more round and sensuous and succulent and full.

I had a Tuna Tartare that truly, if I never taste tuna again, I would have no regrets. Along with the prerequisite wasabi this tartare was enlivened with watercress and arugula and cilantro and tiny bubbles of red caviar that burst in your mouth releasing primarodial memories of a time when we were part of the ocean of life teeming all around us. And of course, it was perfectly balanced with that ubiquitous island spice that graces every island dish -- that rich and zesty seasoning that I have grown to crave.

For my main course, I had snapper perfectly cooked in a white wine sauce that effortlessly slid across my tongue, caressing every taste bud as it passed over. The snapper rested on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and spinach and it truly was, 'to die for'.

It was a night of pure, perfect, delight.

And I was not alone in the sensual enjoyment of the meal. Each of us were convinced that what we had chosen was the best, the most perfect item on the menu.

Perhaps it was not the food but the atmosphere, the glowing skin, the laughter of friends, the sharing of forkfuls of spice laden meals and the absolute joy of sharing the night immersed in a friendship that is deep and lasting, founded like coral upon the white skeleton of a founding principle of life -- it is always best shared with those you love.

It was a lovely night. A night to remember. A night to caress and explore and wander through for time to come.

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One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.
Jewish Proverb

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
Albert Einstein

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein


Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.
Albert Einstein

The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.
Albert Einstein

I don’t want to become immortal through my work. I want to become immortal through not dying
Woody Allen

I’m not afraid of dying - I just don’t want to be there when it happens!
Woody Allen

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
Albert Einstein

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them
Albert Einstein

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything you learned in school
Albert Einstein

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein


Typically when falling asleep in bed at night great thoughts enter the mind, long stringed and meaningful sentences trip over each other to receive attention at the front of the brain alongside all the brilliant findings, results, meanings that speak volumes and hard hitting phrases that are just the ticket to open the door to success. The last thought in the brain before sleep overrides this brilliant future work is, "must use that tomorrow."

The next day as you stumble out of bed to clean the teeth with little enthusiasm and to sit staring inanely at a pot of hot water (the coffee machine that you had forgotten to put the coffee in yet again) these thoughts are still asleep. They are heaped and well obscured in other jumbled and nonsensical reasoning¡¦s and justifications ¡VDouble Dutch without subtitles or translation.

In fact, as you opt for a cup-of tea (seeing as how the coffee machine makes the water) and you stub you toe on the stool that was in the way, absolutely no prose, ideas or means to move forward spring into the mind. It can even be said that after switching on the computer and after having shot down twenty spacecraft and been eaten up by a green alien sort of thingy, that not even a title or starting sentence seems worthy of being tapped into the keyboard.

It can justifiably be said that the whole day has been spent in totally useless fashion. Staring out of the window at the idyllic setting only makes lying on the bed seem very attractive: the walk to the corner shop to clear the head only brings anger over the prices these shops charge and the afternoon nap has now obliterated or obscured all that might have been dreamt up that morning - in short the head remains an empty void and a bottomless pit with no foundation..

There are two major periods of fantastic prose assembly and justifiable award-winning script construction. Had the results or product of these two periods of mind-boggling activity simply been recorded for posterity things would be very different. Even if they had been written on the back of a cereal box, on toilet paper or even dictated into a tape recorder (right over your friend¡¦s favorite tape) these reams of cohesive cognitive and collective convictions would have been the beginning, the middle and the end of many an article, essay, poem, writing or story. They would have been the justification, the vindication and the rationalization; the crux, the core, and the essence; the plot, the storyline and the scenario; the speech to end all speeches, the thesis to bring in the top marks and the book that would sell more than any Harry Potter novel ever has.

Strangely enough the mind-boggling prose that springs out during these two periods in most writers¡¦ lives is not often etched or embedded onto some scrap of paper or recorded for eternity on a Dictaphone ¡V results that have been used the next day that is. In the first situation the thinker and brilliant script writer has unfortunately fallen asleep before the thoughts of the night could be transferred from brain to paper. And in the second case the new author and Nobel Lauriat is blind drunk, so blind drunk and out of his tree that writing or talking is not really a feasible possibility ¡V even though it seems like a good idea at the time.

Many forward thinking and desperate strugglers go to extremes to capture and to retain these mind-boggling and superb strings. Some fall asleep with Dictaphones switched on next to them so that they may talk out their thoughts before drifting off ¡V sadly they typically replay to sounds of excessive grunts and snores that shock to the core. Other more desperate souls actually manage to struggle out of bed to write on the back of a cereal box, over their mum¡¦s favorite recipe for peanut cookies or on some other scrap of paper.

The next morning, the ones that managed to write their thoughts down do have some success in thinking up new ideas, but only due to having had a good night¡¦s sleep. Safe and sound in the knowledge that their wonderful thoughts had been recorded they fall asleep like babies, knowing that the morning will bring brilliance to light. Sadly, when waking up it is either found that ¡¥little brother¡¦ has used that little scrap of toilet paper for what it was meant for or more commonly that the words that have been written make absolutely no sense what-so-ever. All of these pre-sleep thoughts that had been recorded look like the ramblings of an Egyptian Monk overdosed on Battery Acid.

The drunkard who manages to write something down is not a common occurrence. Usually at the point of aiming the pencil towards the paper at the start of what will be a lengthy diction and thus the subsequent lowering of the accumulated build-up in the brain, the pencil snaps. But drunkards certainly prefer to hear their own voices. One of their favorite methods of attempting to record such galvanic thoughts and ideas is to lean over to the next drunk and to recite in a loud voice all that they have amassed inside their heads. Having sprouted all out and after having warned the fellow drunk not to forget what he has been told they usually fall asleep, safe and sound in the knowledge that in the morning their friend will give back what they had received.

It never works! The average drunkard never can remember with whom he entrusted his precious thoughts. Over a beer the next evening it may come to light that one man remembers being entrusted with some important information, but for the life of him he cannot remember what the actual information is These two persons may even get together that evening but ¡V it never comes back again.

There it is. Two occasions of superb idea formation and collation yet never do they seem to bear fruit when it matters most! In fact whilst sitting at the computer, keen and willing to progress further than the blank page, the brain fails miserably.

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