Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #25 (The “Quick Bit of Rambling Because I Promised to Do This Regularly” Version)

Storms have rolled in once again.

This is rather annoying, because it’s near the end of July and by this time in Texas we should be done with all that mess. July and August are the months when a high-pressure cell typically plunks its ass right over the state and doesn’t move, stabilizing the atmosphere but also creating a baking terrarium that incubates the heat until we are all jellied masses of lethargy and bitterness. The people who survived in this place before the invention of air-conditioning were noble warriors. Of course, the U.S. Government then forcibly moved those warriors onto reservations. Ain’t history grand?

Storms make me pensive, what with worrying about potential destruction dropping from the sky and some residual Bible-School synapse in my brain wondering if I’m about to get a special email invitation from someone named “Noah 2.0”, advising me of a cruise ship that will soon be departing from Port Sinai. (All inclusive! Dancing on the Lido Deck! Couples only!)

Tonight’s pondering variations include two additional items. One, I am regretting the unnecessary ding to my water bill, having manually kicked off the sprinkler system a few hours before the sky split open and issued forth an amazing inundation that would be admirable if it hadn’t negated my earlier pain and suffering. (I valiantly exited the back door, fought my way through the turgid air as I navigated toward the back of the house, popped open the door on the system command center, heroically pushed three buttons, and then surmounted all odds by getting back into my domicile without expiring. I was outside for roughly 27 seconds. I lost three pounds of sweat during the process.)

Two, my mind, which never achieves any degree of stasis, hopscotched back to a TV show we watched last night. For those who relish details, it was the final episode of season 1 of Penny Dreadful. This series is fascinating, in my non-stasis opinion, what with it being a mashup of historical fiction, 19th century horror, both literary and real, the trickiness of morality, personal quests for redemption, and startling moments of non-Victorian nudity. (It’s not for everyone. Do your research before you take the plunge.) In any case, there was a scene where two characters must part, probably forever, despite their mutual admiration and respect, and one says to the other:

“Remember us better than we are.”

It was a perfect line for the scene and, in some respects, a summation of that entire first season. And it plucked a personal chord, in that I have often reflected on this very thing. I once had a blog entitled “Memory Remix”, wherein I shared stories of what once was, with the caveat that what we remember is often colored by what we wished it to be. And in that sense, do any of us really remember what truly happened? Does time warp our perception of the past? Or do WE warp it, softening the sharp edges, or sharpening the soft edges, so we can justify what we’ve become, or what we once did? Maybe. And maybe we should. Perhaps this is how we survive, tinting and shading the past, so we can sleep at night, and love again in the morning.

The storms have quieted now. Distant rumbles, brief spits of rain. I’m off to check my email, so I can let Noah 2.0 know that I won’t be needing his services this late evening, thanks anyway.



32 replies »

  1. “Tonight’s pondering variations include two additional items. One, I am regretting the unnecessary ding to my water bill, having manually kicked off the sprinkler system a few hours before the sky split open and issued forth an amazing inundation that would be admirable if it hadn’t negated my earlier pain and suffering.”
    You get life.
    And that is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loving the thoughts about memories in the last large paragraph. Think you hit the nail on the head, we have to change what we remember, and after a while what we remember is not what actually happened, simply because we are human and most of us want “better” in all aspects of our lives. There are things that I no longer know if they were real, or if that is how I think they were, sometimes it bothers me, mostly I just have to accept and let it go. The digital track in my brain can’t be corrected now it has worn a new groove.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Having just spent 2 weeks with my octogenarian mother who these days incessantly , and often inaccurately meanders through her memory maze I can only echo what you have said in that last paragraph. And I honestly think it is the mind’s soft velvet gloves guiding the memory past the tainted bits and allowing it to reinvent a rosier glow. Which makes i all so much better as we march relentlessly towards desiccation I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Desiccation? Nah….ladies don’t “age”, we simply grow softer. Although, given the amount of stuff I ‘can’t do” any more desiccation is a good word. Some of it might have dried up and be apt to blow away… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Osyth: Lovely image, the soft velvet gloves guiding. One of the things I dread the most is my mind slowly going, yet at the same time there are many memories that I would be happy to see walk out the door…

      Embeecee: Something just blew past the window, and I initially thought it was a bird on a lark, but it’s entirely possible that a bit of your desiccation just migrated south. Said with love… 😉


      • I share your dread though if I could cherry pick …. hmmm 😉Now cleaning chin and sofa where I spat my coffee whilst trying not to snort at Embeecee’s flying dry bits 😂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. You haven’t yet met Zane Rialta, infamous Hollywood video gossip jockey. But she told Jackson, “This is how good I look leaving. Remember to miss me.” Both lines he turned into hit songs with a feminist shred band called Skanque. Sundays are Sundays, even if it only rained in South Dallas. Hopscotch, anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I tried to watch Penny Dreadful because Josh Hartnett is a cutie-pot…but I couldn’t stay with it.
    It stormed here yesterday and I came outside and just sat, listening and watching the torrential rain…looking like the heavens were weeping.
    I love stormy weather but I don’t really know why. 🤔

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Never seen Penny Dreadful, but I love that line!
    I’ve wondered about how we remember the past too, especially on how it relates to our current happiness. A few days ago my husband and I were in a store and we could hear a young child throwing a tantrum to beat all tantrums. It was impressive in both volume and passion.
    I told my husband that I knew I tended to make the past better than it was, but I couldn’t remember a time our kids threw a tantrum in public. He said my memory was completely correct, our kids never threw tantrums. We then began to argue back and forth whether it was true, or just a trick of our memory, and how could we ever know for sure? Finally we agreed it was best we didn’t know, as our memories are much better. Which is a long way of saying, I’m a firm believer of remembering us better than we are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The comments on this post have been wonderful, definitely including this one. (Not to imply that the other days and comments have been mediocre and pointless, just that today has been exceptionally stellar. You know what I mean.) Of course, the flip side of burnishing our memories with a better patina is that we may be doing the opposite in some cases, baking an unhappy memory into something much worse than it was. This is another angle that came to light during my “Memory Remix” days, though not nearly as often as the softening. There were a few stories that I would labor over, intent on capturing every horrid detail of the past violation, and then I would sit back and think “damn, I was kind of a whiner, wasn’t I?”…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • It took me a bit to get invested, especially those first couple of episodes where you aren’t sure what’s going on or if you even want to know, but then the backstories kicked in and things quickly gelled. Still, not everyone’s cup of tea…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Smart, funny, sensitive. And not to mention phenomenal at being articulate and expressive. Maybe you should be a writer when you grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My husband and I recently had a joint memory from a year ago when we planned to paint the kitchen but somehow it came and went and only just now did it return. This time we grasped it with all our hands and flew with it and now there are actual dust sheets and paint and brushes … if we could only remember whether you paint the woodwork first or the walls then we might actually get started…

    Liked by 1 person

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