Saturday, October 6, 2018

calving identity

Just to note: If others no longer know who I am, how am I supposed to?

The occasion for this fleeting thought came yesterday when I received a card from my half-sister who is handling the affairs of her mother and my deceased step-mother. My "sister" as I think of her said that her mother's companion of lo these many years, Bill, told her he had had a long conversation earlier in the day with ... well ... "your half-brother" ... whose name did not appear to be lodged in his memory banks. Bill and I had talked for the better part of an hour earlier in the day... and he couldn't recall my name, apparently. With years of pretty-fair connections, I might have thought Bill would remember my name. But he didn't.

As why should he? And, for all that, why should I? What grappling hooks exist as time passes? One by one, the reasons and connections fray. Their purchase dwindles. Does a name really cover the bases?

Still, it is one thing for me to dwindle from my own skein and to have another suggest that my undoing is well-warranted and in-the-course-of-things. I am not desperate to be remembered and yet am wispily surprised that I am not ... I mean, I remember (give or take a little) so why shouldn't others as well?

Now and then, a picture of the Arctic or Antarctic springs to mind with their calving, crashing chunks disappearing into the sea around them ... meltmeltmelt. Return. Reabsorption. Nothing lyrical or improvable about it. Men make the wars, strew the destruction, reach for the stars. Women are left to clean up the mess.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, as the Hindus might put it.

"Calving" is a kind of kool word.

1 comment:

  1. From calving I get veal not ice chunks.

    For memory training there are sites like

    Also, some labels get lost. “Adam” and “Bill” spoke. Does not necessarily translate to “the Half-Brothers spoke.

    Do your worn sneakers make you think of Anicca? Annata? Dukkah? They could....