Monthly Archives: January 2011

Multiple Me

Yesterday there was a posting on a blog I frequent, The Writers Circle, that got me thinking.  So much so that I commented.  It hit home in both the artistic, which is not my voyage, and the personal, which is. The part of the topic that interested me, how many stories come from three basic myths. This concept was put forth by Joseph Campbell a scholar of comparative mythology. Below is the pertinent portion of my comment.

“You hit on a very interesting topic, multitudes from a single source. A PBS documentary on Jason and the Argonauts made a similar point, stating that James T. Kirk and his crew were merely the most recent incarnation of Jason’s voyage. From my “basic” understanding of Campbell’s work, fiction comes from a few fundamental source myths and like your fractal reference, writers continue to uncoil their own version of these fundamental stories. It is a journey I find myself on both in my work and in life.”

I spent the better part of today chewing on this idea; many from few or one. Could this also be applied not only to art but life itself? Not so much reincarnation but multiple versions of the one. Am I the sum of the parts, not just the individual who ekes out this solitary existence?

Why do I ponder this topic? Does it lead to some answer I am afraid to ask the question of? Multiple me’s? I joked in my last post about this exact idea, myriad cheerios on a cosmic string. Could I have hit closer to the target’s bull’s eye than I thought, or am I merely striking out at clues, a blinded gladiator seeking blood from empty air.

Nature copies itself multiple times. Is each copy a new creation or just the rebirth of the fundamental? And if there are multiple me’s, how many are there. String theory suggests the existence of eleven dimensions. That is if we only seek dimensions that fall in line behind the original three. What if, like countless stories from three basic myths, dimensions exist all around, beyond our ability to calculate? What if I choose to go left yet another version of myself chooses right? How many worlds, universes, or dimensions would that lead to? And if these myriad plains bubbled forth with each human choice, what constant could there ever be to contain all this chaos?

I am not smart enough for this train of thought yet I find myself beckoning at the gates of these questions. And like a beggar who waits for scraps, I starve slowly seeking clarity, clarity of where I came from and how to get back.

M. Haygood

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Similitude Or The Breaking Of String

Evidently, I am five hours ahead of myself.  I have no past but I do have a future, at least five hours from now.  For some reason, when I post my blogs, the time stamp is in the future.  That is of course unless I am more insane than I thought and truly reside somewhere in the UK without a clue.

This glitch started me thinking, if I do exist in the future but operate in the past, will I ever meet anyone of the 18,000 me’s in between.  18,000 seconds make up a five hour period.  My mind doesn’t conceive of time segments less than a second.  Could there be 18,000 versions of myself, autonomous of each other or directed by a single version five hours ahead of the rest?  Pure Science Fiction, you ask?   Don’t forget that my humble beginnings have no answers even under intense scrutiny.  My life is a Philip K. Dick novel waiting to unravel.

Do we exit, all iterations of self glued to the pages of time’s book, at once, in linear succession, stacked atop each other or randomly scattered about like many darts thrown and connected only by the wall they are embed in?  A fascinating train wreck of an idea.  Time is a concept. Yet, as sentients, we move through it as if climbing up a great waterfall spilling the moments of our lives over a cliff’s edge.

I have meditated in my day.  It has given me calm and clarity of thought and at moments, a feeling of living beyond time.  Metaphysical hooey, no, just an experience I produce to illustrate time as experienced by me.  I have written on this subject before in this forum.  But at this moment, my musings drive my imagination to a stinging question … how many me’s are there?

How many you’s?  And how would we even know, stacked on top of each one like Cheerios hung on a string waiting for some dimensional force to make myriad cuts allowing string and cereal to be scattered randomly about the universe?

That is the ball of yard I find myself tangled in.


FACEBOOK

Facebook!  Why would I want to be on Facebook?  I have nothing against it, but I barely have time for this, my blog.  I am constantly asked and am tired of answering no, I am not on Facebook.   But now you can like me or at least this blog on Facebook.  Like Twitter, if someone else would like to do the work, by all means, go ahead.  Like me, like my blog.  A teenager helped me put the “Share” button on the side.

I now have work to do.  Thank you for your time.


Bit-O-Honey

Bit-O-Honey.  Once in a while you see them mixed in with all the other penny candies.  More like nickel candies now with inflation but you get the idea.  Bit-O-Honey, a candy with memory and weight for me.

One, the flavor reminds me of the hospital.  A good memory you ask?  Yes.  For two years I had no responsibility.  It was a cocoon to develop into the beautiful butterfly I am today.  Time moved slowly then.  Memories of that period are sacrosanct.  It was an intense period in my life.  A time of total focus spent looking for clues.  Not survival as the past twenty years have been, the amenities of life were provided then and I only had to wake up each morning.

Bit-O-Honey, a candy that made its appearance once a year.   Small wax paper wrapped packages of honey bursting chews.  Hollow’s Eve?  Candy?  How could I who started life at thirty have childish memories such at these?

I experienced two witches nights on the inside.  Two within the walls of mental recuperation.  And both were a dichotomy of emotions.  The staff worked very hard to get the patients excited about the event of Halloween.  Each time, all were disappointed because why would any child trick or treat at a mental hospital?

Even so the candy bowls were filled with a multitude of sweets.  Lithium and sugar are great mixers but it is once a year and the staff needed a highpoint.  One special time during the year where outside family and friends promises’ to visit weren’t a disappointment to patients when they didn’t.

Both times I pulled every Bit-O-Honey I could find from the bowls.  Chewing the woody sweetness was a comfort.  On that one day and night it was probably the single individual activity I did other than read.  Probably the only time I looked as if I belonged.

That first Halloween, Ray caught me rummaging through the bowl.

“Man, if you don’t look like a crazy tonight.”

I looked at him, my robe held out in front like a bowl with bits of candy spilling over.  The sugar rush glint in my eyes pegging me as one of the more dangerous patients on the ward.  Back in my room, chewing one after another of those queen’s jelly inspired treats, I felt at home, at peace, as if I had found a slender thread of who I once was.

Answers?  No.  Just a small comfort of sugar on a night when ghouls ruled yet had little power.  I wandered out of my room, sweetly satiated, and look at all the others.  Their great expectations dashed.  Expectations built up by staff trying to help yet sucked dry by the reality that no child would ring the bell asking for a treat.  A very big letdown for the others but a moment’s peace for me.  A small chunk of candy brought back a bit of my past but like the candy itself, a feeling with little substance, just the sense of familiarity with no real memories to back it up.

Ray told me that feelings were sometimes all you needed.  The actual memory only mucks things up.  Feelings are more powerful than actual thoughts because they are motivators.  If you think too much, you intellectualize the process.  Passion launches more inspired ships than intellect.

So, Bit-O-Honey is my talisman to leap first, ask questions later, a practice very difficult for me.  Why think of this now?  I put on an old coat today.  One I haven’t worn since last Halloween.  And in its pocket, I found a single piece of this confection so dear to my heart.  Its memory steals my aspirations and focuses me on my target.

That is to say, it is my rub and with its mystical power of comfort a small beacon on my journey.  I hope one of many so that I can find my home port, a port whose familiarity gives back a portion of my life so mercilessly torn away.

All this from a simple piece of candy.  What other puzzle pieces might I overlook rushing towards answers without questions?


The Poetry of Water

Recently asked why I write in such a flourished style, I was stumped.  If, in my prose, I bend rhythms and the usage of a word, how then could I have possibly written for Television?  Was all that time spent with Jules on the efficiency of language wasted?

No.  Not at all.  One writes within the boundaries demanded by the forum.  This forum is mine and so I fear my inner voice runs amuck.

The question stayed with me.  My thoughts wandered to first influences.  As stated earlier, newspapers and magazines were my initial entertainment in the hospital.  That though was research, an investigation into the world around searching for answers that never came.  First influence?  No.

Then, I remembered Frank Waters’ MOUNTAIN DIALOGUES, the first book I read, at least, the first in my stunted memory.  The copy was worn with a paper jacket clinging to life by strips of tape.  Mr. Waters, a writer from the Southwest and among other things, the only Anglo allowed to witness the sacred rituals of the Hopi.  He committed what he learned of their history, customs and theology in BOOK OF THE HOPI, a volume I unfortunately have never read.

My friend and savior, Ray tossed MOUNTAIN DIALOGUES at me one day while I sat looking out the hospital window, a funk squarely settled on my shoulders.

“Read that, man.  He’s a good writer.  Indians like him.  You might learn something.  Probably not.  But if it keeps you occupied, maybe you won’t depress the rest of the patients.”

So, I picked it up from the floor and began to read.  I didn’t know language could be used like that.  His words were finely prepared meats I wantonly ravaged off of each page.  He wrote of Jung, Ecology, Race Relations, and history, things small and large tying them all around his little adobe community in New Mexico.  It resonated within me.  I did not realize how much until I found my copy buried on my bookshelf.

Flipping through, his language silently sang off the paper.  I stopped on a passage from an essay titled The Hopi Prophecy.  There he laid out the Hopis’ belief that our world has been destroyed three times previously.  And each time a new world came into being; only those who respect it were allowed entry.  Four worlds in all with culture reborn each time.  Multiples of lessons never learned.

While I would never assume comparison of myself to Mr. Waters as thinker or writer, I will credit him with the birth of my world view.  I may not be the desert dweller he was, seeing the natural world in all its glory.  But, prodded on by this one volume, I was given permission to look under rocks left unturned by others.  His words gave me the confidence to look past the veil of sane and into the “what ifs”.  He was my first influence and hopefully now the rediscovery of an old friend.


Time?

Time?   What is it?  Does it flow around us, a mysterious, murky liquid of a concept?  Does it flow at all, a constant current of life’s demarcation?  Or, is it a perception necessary to organize the insanity of our daily existence?  I have no idea.  I do ask the question and ponder the possibilities.

Geotime

Concretized time ticks away somewhere in Greenwich, UK.  That is the standard, like gold.  Yet, as we evolve in our views of the universe, standards melt away and truth becomes the malleable wax image covered in clay used to create the mold of an object far more enduring.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/time.html

Time, if viewed as a treadmill, is it the actual machine or the poor schmuck who runs but goes nowhere?  That is how I feel, my life prior to 1989 a puzzle whose pieces have been tossed in the air and let to fall in a jumble on the ground.  Can time stand still?  Can it stagnate?  Does it move at differing paces?

Set two Timex watches for the exact same time.  Attach one to the wrist of a man sitting in Manhattan.  Attach the other to an Astronaut voyaging the cosmos at light speed.  Let two hours pass on the watch of the astronaut and the Manhattanite has been dust for more than a century.  Time then is a relative term used to describe the micro.  The concept can never encompass the macro.

 So, time, I spin verbiage on this topic like a sixteen year old boy in a muscle car on a snowy day.  The wheels turn at high RPMs with little forward momentum.  Time exists for each of us as a tool to map a day, an hour or a moment, but can it be sliced and diced exactly the same for each individual?  No.

I have existed where all moments of time bisect one another, existing as one yet spread out across eternity.  My understanding of time is personal, dissimilar to any other individual’s experience.  So, why these ramblings on Time?

After twenty years of dreaming, why does Oliver never age?  Answer me that.


Remington 5

I received a package yesterday.  Inside the box was a Remington 5 [streamlined] circa 1935.  For those born before the computer revolution, Remington was a major typewriter manufacturer.  Think “word processor”, its CPU the organ between your eyes with an attached printer.

http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/rem-portables.htm#remrand

It belonged to Jules Morrow, my mentor at the beginning of my career.   He composed on it until friends bought him a computer.  Even then, I did catch him tapping out missives on it.  The Executor of Jules’ estate, acting on instruction from his will, sent it.   Inside the paper carriage there was a typed note.

He knew me better than I myself.  Jules paid one dollar every week until that Remington had been paid off.  If the above website is correct, the price was $49.50.  So, instead of the self gratification we enjoy today with our credit cards, Jules, an individual of the Depression, waited patiently paying his weekly dollar for almost a year before receiving what became his most prized possession.  And yes, Jules, I am aware of the previous sentence’s length.

I placed his Remington 5 on a shelf in my office.  Not prominently displayed as a “piece” of antiquity or some decorative emblem studiously perched for all to see, but as a reminder.  I have placed it below eye level so that when I spin around in my office chair, it is there.  While I may have no past, this machine does and viewing it reminds me of a history, both worldly and personal.  Its presence in my office a balefire, a signal for what I do here, digging for stolen history.

This gift set me thinking.  I do gather up old things like some museum curator.  My telephone is not antique but a replica of one from earlier in the last century.  The house I live in, also old, built sometime in the 1920s.  My neighborhood reminiscent of “Leave It To Beaver.”  Why didn’t I purchase a Condo or some new brick home in a planned community?

Because I need a sense of what has transpired before I walked this earth.  And this typewriter, a machine I have no skill with, is a reminder that while I may have begun life in 1989, the world did not.  In that, my history resides.    So I borrow this part of Jules’ past to bolster my present.  Its’ shiny Art Deco frame brings to focus those who have helped me on my bittersweet travail.


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