Sunday, October 12, 2008

The pumpkin in the patch

This time of year is always very special for me, and in trying to understand Poseidon, I am also coming to terms with something in my own life that bothers me, but which I have dealt with for such a long time that I often take it for granted. I suffer from a severe fluidity in my memory, and I choose to use the term fluidity because I am relating it to Poseidon here, but in essence, I have dealt with a rather severe problem with my memory for many, many years, and that is a problem with relating proper nouns to their objects. This stems from an incident in my late teens early twenties, which is not really important.

This issue causes a problem in remembering my own life, not that I don't remember the things that happen to me, but the names of the people who were important in it. The names become fluid, a Carlos or a Tony can easily become a Mark or an Antonio, and in the end, the fluidity of those nouns in relation to who they should be connected causes many problems for me.

Understanding this, I make it a point to speak people's names when conversing with them, and referring to them by name rather than pronouns, when I remember those names, and often when I make prayers to the Gods, and I try to name them all, I forget the actual names. This bothers me, because such a lapse in memory seems disrespectful to me.

But there is actually a good that often comes from this fluidity in my memory.

I was raised to see people differently. Blacks were a certain ways, Cubans another, Whites another still, and in the end, it was leading to a person who would see people in stereotypes. But the fluidity of my memory meant that I couldn't really tell the difference between Carlos and Antoin, David or Stanislav. After all, if the names could be so interchangeable, why not the other traits, the stereotypes? And if that is the case, then doesn't that make them all essentially the same? All essentially equal in the eyes of whatever God did this to me?

We can learn from our mistakes, our issues, our losses, and even our infirmities, and Poseidon is a tutelary deity. Legend has him as a teacher of men. Teaching us to take from the sea where the land is not capable of supporting us, and perhaps taking from our faults where our blessings are not capable of informing us.

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