"In our dreams, as in our tales, we use the dead to tell us things we’d otherwise have to admit that we are saying to ourselves."
— The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins
How It Begins
Somebody’s blade fingers your chest,
out for the bird in its warm nest
rocked in those tides that come and go.
Somebody’s thumb is on the flow
memory ride through secret places
to find the doors, to name the faces.
Somebody’s picking body’s lock,
tapping the glass, hefting a rock,
leaping the gate, cutting the wire
that fuses motion to desire.
What if this once nobody’s there?
Somebody’s step is on the stair.
"Moreover the memory lies helpless and languishes in sleep and does not protest that the person whom the mind thinks it sees
alive was overcome by death and destruction long ago."
— On the Nature of Things by Lucretius
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
"Then he was told:
Remember what you have seen,
because everything forgotten
returns to the circling winds."
— Lines from a Navajo Wind Chant