truth no longer matters much to me
I prefer to value intoxicatingly interesting days
and so I let things slide without grace into their
self selected place
I have not enough time to waste space sorting
through all that is me.
~ Jason Lyle Baucom
I distinctly remember, as a child, listening to my mom tell me stories about her life B.A. (yes, that would be Before Amanda) with rapt attention – along with myriad other sentiments… ranging from awe to embarrassment to bewilderment to pride. My interest did vary based on the subject matter I have to admit, but one thing that always stood out to me was hearing her say, “Ten years ago….” or “Twenty years ago…” And being blown away at the reality of powerful and meaningful memories of things from that long ago. The idea of having memories that far back just didn’t compute. I always hear that opening line in Sargent Pepper’s…
I still equate stories that begin “Twenty years ago…” with my mom, or perhaps Abe Lincoln and his “Four score and 7,” or at least people who have so much more life experience than I do. This is clearly ridiculous, but you know, old habits of mind… So of course, I am constantly surprised as I find myself recalling events and people and places and with vivid (if subjective) detail and then being hit over the head with the realization that what I am thinking about happened… TWENTY YEARS AGO.
I started high school 25 years ago – I still remember the illusion that it would be like a John Hughes film as if it were yesterday. 20 years ago my friend Willie was in Germany as the Wall was coming down and he brought a piece of it back to California for me. Just three years later Willie died. I graduated from UCSD 16 years ago and I can still see Dave Gutierrez (swoon) speaking to us and feeling the La Jolla wind on my face as I contemplated my upcoming forays in Europe. On August 9, it will be 14 years since Jerry Garcia died and I wish I had my photos here to share the Polo Fields memorial with everyone who does not understand how significant the community experience of the Grateful Dead was to those of us lucky enough to have a peek…
It has been nearly twelve years since Jason died.
This must sound morose… but I am not meaning it to be. These events… these singular moments that crystallize in our brains and combine to make up a lifetime sometimes seem so much more vivid in my mind. I remember so many other kinds of things as well: first kisses, first crushes, first humiliations, moments of startling clarity and moments of frightening confusion… Adventures and misadventures. Frankly, it’s awesome.
I spent nearly a year trading travel stories with a friend back in 2005 and was struck at the depth of memory. What stays with us. True, it is selective and subjective as hell… but that sure makes it a fabulous tapestry. Is it real? Is it true? Dreams are like movies, and memories are films about ghosts. And truth? Well, truth is as truth does. Perhaps Paul Simon was right when he ignored truth and said: “Faith is an island in the setting sun… But proof, yes… Proof is the bottom line for everyone.”