Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Problem with Memory 4: The River

Thomas Cole: The Course of Empire: Desolation (1836).

Tara Mohr recently circulated the following metaphor about memories reappearing in daily life as huge events, crises or mistakes. She suggests they surge through our lives because they represent a correction, or some deeper pattern from the past, seeking a personal return to an innately-appointed path and perhaps greater destiny:
“You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for [houses] and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. “Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Toni Morrison

... What “river” in you got straightened out somewhere along the way in life – changed from [its] natural form to accommodate practical realities or other people’s agendas? How is the river’s yearning to go back [its] original shape manifesting in your life right now?

Have you been calling it a flooding – a random and dangerous event? And what happens if you recognize it as a remembering?
The soulful affirmation aside, the metaphor conjures up a vision of the splitting of life, between individuals as living legacies of past centuries, incarnate in the present, and people who strain to evolve into the future.  These are two parts of consciousness, balanced (or imbalanced) in time.

Lars von Trier's Romantic doppelgänger imagery in Melancholia (2011).


  1. "Take me back down where cool water flows, y'all;
    Let me remember things I don't know..."
    -- John Fogerty, "Green River"

  2. Exactly! Nice tweak.