Note to Self

1 commentDubai,Writing

Photo on 29911 at 7.09 PM Dubai Local Time

This isn’t my jour­nal so this isn’t an entry. Just a smat­ter­ing of ran­dom thoughts scrib­bled at a cafe. Merkaz to be exact. Dubai to be pre­cise. One month in.

I’d like to say the city has grown on me, but the truth of the mat­ter is that I’ve shrunk in. Cozied in. Mellowed to fit into the tiny pock­ets of relief in this place with no face. Who am I to say that is not as good? It’s been a while since I’ve writ­ten every­thing.

My last for­ay into my own brain was last November, which I spent on the beach to write my nov­el while Samira was in Ecuador to (re-)discover her roots. And now, one year lat­er, we are apart. This time it is I who has left, leav­ing her behind. We knew it was only a mat­ter of time back then, as we do now. But any mea­sure­ment of time is mean­ing­less between two peo­ple who share but an instant in a day togeth­er and an eter­ni­ty in a minute apart.

Am I on a sim­i­lar quest of self-dis­cov­ery? When I put it this way, it seems vain. Futile. And too touchy-feely for my own taste.

Not my cup of tea. There, anoth­er tired cliche.

This is when I usu­al­ly stop writ­ing — when my words devolve into just that: words. But maybe the chal­lenge is to keep at it — until the words con­nect into para­graphs, and until those untan­gle into loose threads of thought.

And final­ly images.

The image tru­ly has the final word. Was that Derrida? Or per­haps Baudrillard. I for­get. I often joke that my long-term mem­o­ry is fad­ing. I poke fun at myself that it’s a sign of senil­i­ty. But now I remem­ber that short-term mem­o­ry loss is an indi­ca­tion of that. What then do we call the loss of our long-term mem­o­ries? Aren’t those what make us who we are? The very basis of our iden­ti­ty?

What use to me are thoughts I col­lect day-to-day? What am I to do with those nuggets I pick up? Where am I to store them? Are they sup­posed to mean any­thing? Will they even­tu­al­ly con­nect into images? And as they recede into the folds of my mind, will I then for­get them just as they start to mean some­thing?

Is this a flight from sig­nif­i­cance?

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SOOLY September 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

JD

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