Love's arms were wreathed about the neck of Hope, And Hope kiss'd Love, and Love drew in her breath In that close kiss and drank her whisper'd tales. They said that Love would die when Hope was gone. And Love mourn'd long, and sorrow'd after Hope; At last she sought out Memory, and they trod The same old paths where Love had walked with Hope, And Memory fed the soul of Love with tears.
[Polythene Pam] was me, remembering a little event with a woman in Jersey, and a man who was England's answer to Allen Ginsberg, who gave us our first exposure - this is so long - you can't deal with all this. You see, everything triggers amazing memories. I met him when we were on tour and he took me back to his apartment and I had a girl and he had one he wanted me to meet. He said she dressed up in polythene, which she did. She didn't wear jackboots and kilts, I just sort of elaborated. Perverted sex in a polythene bag. Just looking for something to write about.
It was the nature of his profession that his experience with death should be greater than for most and he said that while it was true that time heals bereavement it does so only at the cost of the slow extinction of those loved ones from the heart's memory which is the sole place of their abode then or now. Faces fade, voices dim. Seize them back, whispered the sepulturero. Speak with them. Call their names. Do this and do not let sorrow die for it is the sweetening of every gift.
The first memory I have, anyway, I guess - I think it was my second birthday and the cake came out with the candles and I was very excited and I was, like, "Oh! A cake!" and then my cousin blew out the candles. I was so disappointed. It just broke my heart. And so that's stamped in my brain.
This tug-of-war often obscures what's also happening between us. I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means that in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that - even as I fail you. Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done.
Tanya Ward Goodman, writing with a big heart, clear eyes, and a light touch, allows us a privileged glimpse into the shabby, enchanted world of traveling carnivals, roadside attractions, and a beloved, eccentric father’s descent into Alzheimers. Just as her dad animated the handcarved, miniature western world of Tinkertown from coat hangers, inner tubes and old sewing machine motors, Tanya Ward Goodman has fashioned her complex and often hilarious memories into a beguiling, wry, and moving work of art.
Childhood is less clear to me than to many people: when it ended I turned my face away from it for no reason that I know about, certainly without the usual reason of unhappy memories. For many years that worried me, but then I discovered that the tales of former children are seldom to be trusted. Some people supply too many past victories or pleasures with which to comfort themselves, and other people cling to pains, real and imagined, to excuse what they have become.
To conjure a particular knowledge you visualize an architectural structure and then you walk around and see the details that then bring back the words or the poetry or the lines of thought. Memory's going extinct because we rely on machines and copies and so on. The idea of working with structures that conjure dreams, personages, history, time, that can be contained in this way as you walk through your mind, is a challenge.