It was a few years ago now that I met a man struck with the ability to remember virtually anything and everything he read. It started while he was teaching his daughter math and it kept on going into telephone books and random applications, groups like the audience at the lecture earlier. It was kind of a strange gift he had, no doubt. Of course he looked a little tired and he conceded that in fact he made himself crazy with the amount of time he sharpened his skill. Maybe he was meant to record all of history so that as we became extinct he could be the raconteur of our times? He thought it worth considering, because it surely would be lovely to imagine what he could do with it, to everyone's benefit.
I thought that was sweet. And deep. He really was struck by something that came like lightening. He was enlightened, too. Exactly how much I don't know, but again, this gift lent a humility to his eyes, or maybe the look begot the gift, who knows, not me. Maybe with a gift like that he could have sinned. It's hard to look that one up on the internet, it won't be for sale or debated on a forum. Or maybe it is, but only one or two, and mostly that will be by weirdos, which is cool but not a lot of help.
It's hard to judge how inspiration comes. I find myself stuck to certain sets of ideas, but there's a letting go of spirit that begets new ideas, new moments and new senses. It's a fine balance. While dealing with the muses of inspiration, with their passions and their cycles, things can get tricky. And of course the biggest gift is not the thing we hold onto so tightly, but the gift we allow to go fallow or away from sight. That's the one we believe will stay even though it could go as quickly as it came. And that is the hardest gift to believe. It can really be endless.
I remember the man talking across a pinball machine in a back room in an upper east side bar. I hope he got some rest since then, because we might really need him for this history. Of course, maybe he's like the rest of us now. He's tired and between his carbon imprint and the guilt he feels towards his children and all he can do is teach them not to consume too much plastic or to depend too deeply on anyone from a government house, because at the end of the day, it's the mystery and the man who square away issues of balance. So, fortunes and lives will always go lost and found and gifts and losses will color the world and only in this roar is the voice of the muse ever heard. She is every voice in every shade of person, she is the sound of lovers saying goodbye and of children laughing even if their mothers cry. She is innocence of all and knowledge of everything. Depending on the day, she can be a witch or a fury.
And that's what I learned from the guy, I think he might have been from Pittsburgh.