Saturday, July 16, 2011

Notes from the field

Melissa Green sent this poem yesterday, another voice for memory affirmed, for continuity.

Memory at its finest lacks corroboration
—no photographs, no diaries—
nothing to pin the past on the present with, to make it stick.
Just because you've got this idea
of red fields stretching along the tertiary roads
of Saskatchewan, like blazing, contained fires—
just because somewhere in your memory
there's a rust-coloured pulse
taking its place among canola yellow
and flax fields the huddled blue of morning azures—
just because you want to
doesn't mean you can
build a home for that old, peculiar ghost.
Someone tells you you've imagined it,
that gash across the ripe belly of summer,
and for a year, maybe two, you believe them.
Maybe you did invent it, maybe as you leaned,
to escape the heat, out the Pontiac's backseat window
you just remembered it that way
because you preferred the better version.
Someone tells you this.
But what can they know of faith?
To ask you to leave behind this insignificance.
This innocence that can't be proved: what the child saw
of the fields as she passed by, expecting nothing.
You have to go there while there's still time.
Back to the red flag of that field, blazing in wind.
While you're still young enough to remember
a flame planted along a road. While you're still
seeing more than there is to see.


Earlier this year, there was a post called, "Just say you're with the band." By whatever means it has come to be, I found this two nights ago:

It is a one-inch, pin-back button, offered by Portable Graffiti. Cost: $2.50 plus shipping. I know I must have it. Wish I could send one to each of you. Know that I do so in my heart.

If you have not discovered Jayne's blog, I will just say that she is a better source than my favorite, extinct, Saturday morning FM program for finding, knowing and sharing new music which usually involves stringed instruments.

Last night we watched, on Instant Netflix, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story, about the brief life and career (1961-1994) of the controversial comedian whose final performance on David Letterman was pulled, only to be played some 12 years later, with an apology to Hicks' mother.

This is from one of the clips shown in the documentary, the one I found most moving and most closely aligned with how I see things. If you don't know his work, he continues to be relevant and hilarious and insightful:

"I'm gonna share with you a vision that I had, cause I love you. And you feel it. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much. You've been great, I hope you enjoyed it."


Antares Cryptos said...

Great find of synchronicity of continuity.

Thank you for leaving that quote on my post.

Copied my reply:

@Marylinn, thank you for the quote. It is so very true and one is called a hopeless idealist for uttering similar notions.

I would like to think that we are capable of going beyond personal greed and interests, rather than just calling it "human nature".

It is a global problem, too many "leaders" either can't or won't see the big picture.

I'm.With.The.Band :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - It is beyond my ability to imagine, that the problems and solutions "can't" be seen, which leaves us with "won't." Why would altruism be less a part of human nature than greed, since we are endowed with both? There is a lot of Bill Hicks' material on YouTube...personal and political. His vision seemed especially clear.

Cool, right? Now we have buttons. :D

Robert the Skeptic said...

I only recently discovered these videos by Hicks. I find them insightful and riveting.

Melissa Green said...

I must have that badge "I'm with the Band." It's an essential fashion statement, among other things. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - He brought what feels like a very personal sort of consciousness to comedy. I've enjoyed his work for years. The documentary has a poignancy as one realizes how young he was when he began as a stand-up, how young he still was when he died. Good to know you're a fan as well. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - The badge may give us a tarted-up, somewhat over-age groupie vibe that I, for one, would welcome. See you backstage. xo

Jayne said...

Marylinn- Thank you for that mention. I'm so glad you're enjoying the Frolics.

That MARTIN-DEMOOR poem is beautiful, and certainly does lend affirmation. Much thanks to Melissa for forwarding it to you, and to you, for printing it.

I like these "Notes from the Field" - lots to ponder.

And the button- I must have it also! :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - I am happy to steer readers toward you and The Frolic, knowing there will always be something to capture their interest. When we have them in hand, we can hold a "Let's all wear our BAND buttons day." xo

Portable Graffiti said...

Thank you so much for putting my button up there. And thanks for ordering. I'll have that in the mail for you tomorrow.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Judy - You are very welcome. What a treat to find our motto on your site. Wish I could order a gross to distribute as gifts. Perhaps another day...