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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cut and thrust in memory


Shaving is a powerful process; especially if you are short sighted.

The precision which a mirror encourages is largely wasted on the myopic so a shower is as good a place as any to facilitate the smoothing process. Shampoo lathered on the remaining stubble on my head bubbles its way southward to coat the stubble on my face and, electric battery shaver in hand, the morning chore begins.

The soapy foam ensures that eyes must be kept tightly shut and this has two advantages: it prolongs the illusion of sleep and it encourages the mind to wander. Fingers search questingly along the contours of the face to position the shaver so that it might make the rough places plain. While this semi automatic process is taking placed the mind wanders.

Or rather follows a free association of ideas just a fraction more ordered than that found in the surrealistically logical universe of the dream.

As the three headed rotary shaver wended its way across my face my mind went back to a whole series of conversations and observations about shaving that I had with my father covering the different techniques necessary for optimum results with the blade shavers and then the seemingly counter intuitive approach to utilize the capabilities of the electric shaver. The fact that electric shavers can now be used with foam in the shower confuses and conflates necessary techniques for an adequate (who has ever had a ‘perfect’) shave.

As my mind was quite happily surfing the seas of memory I had one of those deeply poignant moments where the reality of the realisation of the loss of my parents settled on the whole area of my brain.

I am not given to morbid introspection and my acceptance of the fact of death in those close to me has been seen by others as ‘unnatural’ and ‘callous.’

Even that sense of ‘loss’ in the shower was not one consumed in sorrow; rather it emphasised the firm presence in memory of two of the most important characters in my life. A life which continues with their living memory as a daily focus for my interpretation of experience. I do not see them as ghostly presences, but their remembered characters with their likes, dislikes, prejudices and linguistic responses colour and enrich my day to day appreciation.

A moment’s melancholy soon lost in a jumble of positive recollection!

And all this before I was fully awake!

The grey day has now developed into a sullen day with rain darkening a totally deserted beach.

There is, therefore no excuse whatsoever for my not starting the more mundane tasks that I have set myself to complete today.


And who knows at the end of this sentence I might actually start them!
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