Monday, December 29, 2008


Whenever we are trying to recover a recollection, to call up
some period of our history, we become conscious of an act
sui generis by which we detach ourselves from the present
in order to replace ourselves, first, in the past in general,
then, in a certain region of the past--a work of adjustment,
something like the focusing of a camera.
~Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory

The new year is fast here and looking forward 
I look back. About detachment,
I don't know.More often I step back 
and, yes, that's what I've been up to. 
There's a web, all spun, knotted even. 
Yes, I see with clarity -- that's what it's about.
Bergson's idea of adjustment and memory 
does feel right as I consider the coming year. 
Other projects on the list for 2009, yes, 
and always, read more, write more, 
be more present. 


Christine said...

Exploring memories is a "work of adjustment." It's just that the "focusing" doesn't always work flawlessly, or the recollection of events may take on a false clarity. History grows its own distortions: magnifications, blurs and erasures. Here's to future clarity, a beautiful year ahead of us. Thanks for your terrific blog, Pam.

Pam said...

Yes, I love blur and erasure as much as clarity. The work of adjustment, of focusing, of remembering often doesn't result in "accuracy" or even truth. This is where Kunitz's idea of creating a mythology of one's life seems part of the project of poetry. Thank you Chris, for this ongoing exchange -- of ideas, of words, of images-- here's to more in the coming year.