Somewhere inside each of us is a reservoir of pushed-aside crude memory junk.
Like that mushy shit at the bottom of the lake, or the willow bush broken bashed up stormed-away bushes you weren’t supposed to step in when you were tiny and just learning to walk up at the cottage, or, the thick spit floating at the surface of the toilet water. It’s not ugly. It’s just sudden, sinking, unpleasant. And, maybe too it’s against the rules.
Don’t think of the tiny dark things. By the way, you couldn’t if you tried.
This is how ghosts survive.
Did you know that your brain changes every time it consolidates memories? The DNA in your brain, its epigenetic environment changes. That means that the chemicals surrounding the DNA may change, altering the DNA’s performance.
In moments of extreme fear, the ones that we are least likely to remember, the brain works overtime to consolidate our memory of the fear signals around us so that, even if we can’t verbalize the memory, we will forever feel threatened at the detection of particular sensations.
So, his breath is dusty and his voice is low, raspy, and he slurs even his sober words, and his thick beard is practically blinding. I keep thinking I forgot him. But, he changed me.
In the flypaper tunnel, we dance until we’re sticky specks of wish-we-could-be-anywhere-but-here. I wish my memory could speak to me in sentences, but instead she’s changed forever into an over-protective, hyper, creative, freak.
And, those changes? The epigenetic changes around your DNA, they can be hereditary. So maybe these aren’t even my fears that I feel. Maybe they were my mother’s or her mother’s or hers.
My mother’s mother and her mother were Holocaust survivors. They hid underground for two years while the Nazis occupied their Polish village. And, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I panic so much in the dust of the nothing that I never survived.
On a Friday night, I hope you find a way to dance. Get some wine, please, please and play your favorite piece of beautiful sound. Create new memories, over and over again. Let your DNA relax. For as long as possible. I think we can do that. I think that’s possible.
Send this post to someone who needs relief.
Find yourself chatting with them.
Have a weekend you’re proud of.