Wednesday, July 22, 2009


If I could choose a profession that would be the farthest away from my chosen field of dusty books and typewriter keys, I would embark upon the world of lab coats and complicated machines and study that three pounds of nebulous material above our eyebrows we call the brain. Not that I don't already spend enough of my time noggering over my noggin, but this would be a different approach.

I secretly wish Lacuna, Inc. existed. If so, I would apply.

Sitting in our living room today, Anne and I watched as thunder clouds rolled in and the street was pelted with a fierce diagonal sheet of rain. The burst of lightning, rumbles, and rain drops came and went in a brief interlude. The sun returned with full force deepening the rich blues of the rain clouds that had made their way across the sky. Those images conjured in our memories the sights, smells, sounds, feelings of earlier storms prompting a moment of sharing similar events of our childhoods tucked into the recesses of our mind. Anne described the colors of the trees in her backyard during a storm. I explained the tension I felt huddled underneath my grandma's shawl in the front seat of our suburban surrounded by ominous clouds harboring tornadoes.

Image after image appearing in the forefront of my mind. Puddles jumped in. Skies black and velvety, putrid green, and gauntly gray. Where did they come from and how did they get there. Dragged out of boxes and over-stuffed file cabinets by little elves? hardly.

Memory is such a fascinating thing. Painful and playful, joyful and sorrowful. Every image or experience stamped, cataloged, shelved somewhere up(?) there. Drawn out by a familiar sound, smell, touch, taste.

I read an article last year in NY times about science's new breakthroughs into memory. Technology, like Lacuna Inc.'s weird ticking machines, is becoming more of a present reality. Not just some figment of Michael Gondry's imagination. Memory tracking could be a possibility--the power that would give us could be endless, and frankly dangerous. The article talked about science as being "behind the times" when it comes to the study of the mind. After all, literature, art and music have been mapping, probing, poking and pondering upon the matter between our ears for centuries. Science is just beginning to stick their tools and technologies into a place long studied by words, paint brushes, and composers' keys. And they haven't found answers to those questions. So hardly seems probable that a technology or a science's tool will do the trick.

Those images whether they haunt or illuminate the mind's eye will be endlessly wrestled with by method or melody--tool or type key.

I think I'll stick to words. Lab coats don't suit me.

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