When I shine my walking boots
everything is underway
I remember the dusty sand trail that I didn’t walk
for long, but they were so present,
like the big rocks lining the path
leading to the limestone hill
One proved enough, a rock the size of a tree trunk,
to sit me down.
My boots are older now,
they stand together on the rack
When I shine them for another mile
they remember me, and crack a smile
Jacques Réda (b.1929) is a French poet and lover of jazz. His poetry often conveys small and innocent scenes. I read a poem about an old photo, wonderfully translated by Jenny Feldman:
A Found Photo
One day the three of us out in this boat.
The day black and white but clearly summer
For in the wavy-edged photo the trees
Stand full-leafed on the bank; and they’re all but
Naked, this trio, each with a paddle.
The air was hot, the light carefree, and where
The river’s now grey and inert, a breeze
Must have quickened its flow to a dazzle.
Kneeling astern, back arched and already
Womanly in the clasp of a swimsuit
There you are, Janine. And innocently
In love one boy looks cast in bronze, robust,
The other (me) a scrawny pale-faced kid.
Fifty years the scene has held unmoving
Though each day swept us further off. But I’d
Say they’re still aboard the skiff and drifting
On the spot, these three, radiant in the dull
Print where they squint against the sun and see,
On the other side, only my shadow
Through thickening time that has distanced me
So as to let this delight even now
It’s an experience that may be lost to future generations: watching an old yellowing photograph after fifty years. There is surely some magic in there, some connection to the “other side” where we live on. The description of the three young people (I think of an French film by Truffaut but you can have your own visual association, not that this is necessary). The womanly girl kneeling astern in her swimsuit, and the two admiring boys (assuming the other boy was admiring her also. Perhaps this was not the case and he rather was in love with the me of the poem, so we have a love triangle here).
Time is thickening. I have such memories from when I was 16, or 23. No photographs, but I know enough to reproduce them with thickening confidence.
I have the best morning routine. It’s an exceptional morning routine. It’s quick and new and ‘smart’. You do this morning routine, it will blow people out of the water. They’ll never see it coming! It’s the number one routine. The absolute best.
There is a healthy brain guru named Jim Kwik who is peddling his ‘amazing’ courses on the Internet for $399. I watched some of the man’s boastful videos, in which he explained the good old loci-method of memorization using healthy habits as an example. And it actualy worked. A week later, I still know what I had ‘put’ on my head, on my shoulders, in my ears, and so on. Great stuff.
And then there’s the a-ma-zing morning routine. Here it is in my own, compact, words:
Remember your dreams (they can be really creative)
Make your bed (organizing, getting-things-done mindset)
Drink a glass of water (hydrate your brain)
Exercise (when your body moves, your brain …)
Take a cold shower (immune system boost)
Brush your teeth with the opposite hand
Drink energy tea
Drink a smoothie
* Don’t use your smartphone the first hour of the day.
Why do I remember this list? Such awesome, mysterious memory magic! It is just great! Amazing! Wow, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to try this myself. Yes and, Steve, don’t forget that if you call now you get a $29 discount! Really? Oh, that’s fantastic. I already loved it. I guess you can say that I’m hooked. Hooked! It is absolute great and you know what’s the best part? I have learned the wisdom of self-irony.
Full disclosure: Jim Kwik pays me $999 for sharing this with you. Just kidding.
I found this prepared on my computer today. Could you help me explain what it means?
You see the elements of your memory tumbling down in front of you, in a great column of swirling hot air. You can recognize people, scenes, ideas that have been important to you.See them all fall down. Seperate yourself from them all. You are tumbling with them because you must be. No grip. You see them moving upwards again: the smiling, loving faces, memories, ideas, all you ever lived for.Upwards or downwards movement makes no difference.