Saturday, March 22, 2014

Swim, Memory: Canal Convergence Water Striders at Night



Bicycle rides through the darkness on Spring evenings awaken my memories. Riding through the warm night air feel like swimming through a rich ocean of past images, sounds, and faces that flow around me and dance before my eyes. I hear their voices; I feel their embraces; I run through old cityscapes beside them.

But why those memories in particular? Which ones come back to me, unbidden, not obviously connected to this time, this place, this me? Why not others? The now becoming memory nestles down where it will, next to old films and soundtracks in the vault which were covered with dust but which get jostled by this latest packet of sights and sounds. Saturday night, brilliant colored water striders on the canal in Scottsdale, a new and distinctive set of memories, obviously, chose to store themselves next to old memories I have of riding my bicycle through quiet streets late at night in Cambridge, England. I don't know what this has to do with that. I'm just saying: riding home through this spring night thinking about these water striders took me back to England.




 
If I had known, I would have brought my autographed Paolo one


So fun. I jiggled the sliders and clicked the icons on the interaction console, and the striders did my bidding, light-wise. I lit their feet red, their bodies blue, their antennae yellowish, then clicked through the preprogrammed sequences while adjusting the rate slider from slow to fast and back again, and the line of water striders followed my commands while the water of the Salt River ran beneath them in the canal.

How does that trigger memories of a bike ride in Cambridge so long ago? And for that matter, why can't I have a similar level of control of my own memories as with the interaction center? A bit of this happy one from one time, added in with another sequence from a beautiful moment, intercut with some brilliant successes? This blue one, that red one, this green one, those flashing bright yellow ones? Stereoscopic cinematic memories striding boldly across the river of time lighting up the darkness. Swim, memory, through cold waters, I'm biking at night and you are bound to come along.

  

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