Tuesday, August 15, 2006

8.15.06, Travelogue to Family History

Greetings from the land of travel. Myself just in the door. About 30 minutes ago, greeted by a two squeeling cats who are very deprived or feeling so at the moment, also by numerous fruit flies who have been enjoying the two anjou (ripe when I left) pears on my countertop, lots of cat hair, and other related types of traveltime accumulations.

Franky Scale, 6, but it seems strangely like my pain level is trying to increase. Whether this is from travel, stress, pushing harder, more pretension of normalcy which I believe must happen a bit when I find myself in Utah, or some other reasons — I'm trying to pay more attention to my body, be more sensitive, learn what is going on. It's a whole new non-scientific science involved with having your body slowly (or not so slowly) transformed.

I am noticing that what I metaphorically called the egg timer here on the blog a few times, as a reference to the radical foreshortening of my time Here, remains accurate enough an expression; however, I am beginning to think that the actual mechanism by which time passes is rather a pain timer. Some kind of a pain clock by which the mechanisms of the metaphor actual reverse themselves — instead of "time" "running out" the process seems more accurate as having "pain" "adding up." The general motion of the pain economy then is increase, and if we follow Marxist economic analysis of capital, of course, there should be a limit to this increase. Then a new economy must take its place. For those critical of Marx's analysis, which even the most unreconstructed of us must admit is extremely tardy if not actually mistaken, then a more hopeful outcome to all this can be expected. How's that for a reversal? (I think there will be more to come on the concept of the Pain Timer.)

I began writing one parable in the last two days, or allegory rather, to cover some of Salt Lake City and my trip there, two pages and rising; but it isn't ready yet. Loose ties, uneven parallels, underdeveloped themes as yet. The memoir, too, oh boy, there is much more material now after this last trip to Utah: many stories told about the past, some revelations, some realizations. To the extent that "my memoir" is actually going to be a contemporary family history, told by a premature chronicler with literary pretensions and an occasionally obsessional written memory, then I should say that project is rapidly evolving now. But I must cut it short there. Much, much more strategizing is required.

Now that I think of it, once I settle in at home, perhaps I'll post (so later tonight) a "family" poem I've had kicking around for some time which happens to be called "A Contemporary Family History"—and I have no idea off the top of my head whether it's germane, but all the players are the same.

Once again, an appeal to all of you who read and follow the blog, let's call it a philosophical question of the everyday variety. Write in an tell me what you think about how much "honesty" should be put into a memoir? Where does one draw lines between self-experience and Other-experience? How much would you tell of your own history, long or short?

6 comments:

dzd said...

well personally I'd tell it all, change the names, and call it fiction... ;)

isn't that what the telling of others' tales is anyway (fiction)? or the telling of our own for that matter?

welcome home.

Frarella said...

Sir Mr. Jones.
( saw on the news you were recently knighted by the queen)

My friend Billy always made fun of the excedrin aspirin commercial "I haven't got time for the pain." Carly Simon sang it - but in your case it seems even more appropiate" But for that matter who really does have time for the pain? As a Pain Project Manager I think you are doing a great job so listen to your body and keep up the good work. I have to agree - travel is punishing, particularly in your condition. Thanks for all the time we had in SLC and I look forward to the next time we can "exist in the now."

As for the memoirs, I agree with DZD - it's a fine line between fiction and the truth.

xox love Francis

david said...

l
l,
Home again! meow meow. bzz bzz. soft (fruit). Coffee, Seattle! Ink, bright, even when dark, Levitates. You noted the home, and the cats and the flies and the fruit; someone else (me) added the ink, but it's implied by the blog itself. Re-collections of Time Past; the Brocade Project? No, the Arcades Project. The not-so Silent Traveller in Paris, his sketches, poems in Chinese, or so he would have us think, those spaces on the pages otherwise filled with English. How do you like these apples, my good friend?, the shopkeeper wonders as we wander past. The Past is Lost, the Time, time was, once. Now there's the ink, and the gentle remonstrations of two cats, a bunch of fat fruit flies stumbling around in the air, trying their small-scale somersaults and crashing, shaking their fruit fly heads and up in the air again!! And SLC back where it always is, but transformed again, and what is the difference between there and here, where it was, is now there again, and 'here' is where the cats are, there's too much already in the difference, the dialectic between here and there, then and now, the future imposes its own logic on the past, and Voila! yet another crossing of the boats in mid-stream, the same boat going two ways at once, or three, or four. Past present future, and fourth time dimension, or is it space, position, or movement, if not acceleration? Here and simultaneously there, SLC, S, WC, MW, mountains, mountains, big ones, modest ones shrugging their shoulders, one might imagine, it's about being there, having once been some igneous extrusion miles below what now after a few short milleniums milleniahs has been carried away first along the streams becoming rivers running to it, and then into the very sea. How like a mountain! one might say, or a cat.

Slarry said...

If GERMANE is still defined as something pertinent, use that as one of your guides.
Will it change or help anything or anyone? or do you just want to tell the story from your perspective? Honesty is always good.

But if you are asking if you should write Everything, whether it would hurt someone or not, then I think you should talk to them first, give them a chance to explain. Which, hopefully could only give you more information for your Memoirs.

Or you could, as dzd offered, tell it all but change the names and call it fiction. It would still be pertinent and germane.

If you are asking how honest you should be in your memoirs, what is crossing the line--
one might assume you might be referring to some of your negative or painful experiences.

If part of your Memoirs is also going to contain your experiences with your family,
your contemporary family history, including your experiences with them since your being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, combined with the double whammy of also learning that it is TERMINAL-you could write it all, but hopefully also be sensitive to the fact that this experience, this tragedy is new for them as well.

Write it all. What do you have to lose ??? Get it out in the open and out of your system.
Doing that would be cathartic and honest.

You should feel completely free to write your story, no matter how it effects others. It is your life, your story.

Good luck with your quest.

Much love.

Machine said...

Write as if no one but you can read your words

Anonymous said...

slarry is not sounding herself.... something must have happened. i know that she is a very loving and giving person, she always has a shoulder to offer. Mr. Jones and the other family members should be grateful that she is a part of your family. we always hurt the ones we love the very most, and it happens over and over again. I've gone thru this emotional roller coaster with family when someone you love dearly is dying of cancer. It really, really sucks to be the one that is on the receiving end, but what are you suppose to do? give it back to the one that is venting.
these are some very emotional times and it's very hard to put on a straight face, to hold yourself together, to stand tall, to be the one that is considered "the strong one", when we are barely standing straight and holding back the tears and saying "Im alright" when in reality we are a fucked up mess, and in a moment of privacy we break down for only a moment, cause we have to be strong for everyone else who needs a shoulder to cry on. Be good to yourself Slarry, know that you are loved, not just by your family, but by your friends and those that you help.