Sunday, November 29, 2015

It is just after midnight

I wake up after only a few hours of sleep. The dream is trembling there, just on the edge of being forgotten. If I keep my consciousness as still as possible, it seems as if I might be able to recollect it. I am in the middle of a room with millions of spider web threads, each connected to me. The slightest movement, difference will sever them. The intentionality of my awareness is the focused energy of a lighthouse. I try to keep it as dim as possible, but it burns through the gossamer threads of the dream, vaporizing them instantly in the light. I lay on the bed staring at nothing, the dream utterly dissipated. As it is with every other thought these days, I wonder if I am losing my mind.

I recall the first Sonnet. Recite it in lazy silence to myself, starting fast.

From fairest creatures we desire increase
That thereby Memory's Rose might never die
But as the riper should by time decease
His tender heir might bear his living...

And here I realize I've made an error. How many thousands and thousands of times have I recited Sonnet 1? Without every making that error? Beauty's Rose. Beauty's Rose. So that they quatrain finishes with "bear his living memory." That odd rhymed coupling of "never die" and "Memory." How could I forget? It is a synchdoche for the entire Sonnet sequence, a self-evident axiom, as impossible to forget as 2+2 = 4.

The dread thoughts of sickness and disease step from the shadows like a host of cartoon wolves, jackals, hyenas, snakes, foul worms and maggots. All have been down there in the rag and bone shop of my mind, gorging upon the memories that make up my mind. The totems of the Sonnets, ritually placed around the clearing of my being, have served their purpose. Like watchmen on the towers or canaries in the coal mines, by their alert and alteration, diminishment or decay, I know the Memory Worms have now arrived, those eggs of disease have now hatched and the maggots are voraciously feasting upon the essence of all that I am.

I return to the presence of Sonnet 1 and recite that entirety without error. With a sign of slight relief, as that relief one feels after checking that the doors are locked on a dark night, I rise from the bed to begin my day. It is just after midnight.

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