ever the mystery of memory

Page Seventy-six

Tues 25 May 2010

It never ceases to amaze me… or baffle me, or frustrate me … how many ways the memory has of functioning. Long-term, short-term, passive, active, etc. And the things you think have completely gone from your memory, only to find out they are still there.

I had one of those still-there episodes yesterday. Just lying around, longing as ever for my animals and my own life, and suddenly a line of a poem pops into my head. At first I thought it was a poem someone else had written and I had once memorized. Three or four times it repeated, and then I realized it was the first line of a poem I had written myself, about 33 years ago, and already a cynic. I haven’t seen that poem in decades, and thought I had completely erased it from the grey cells, but there it was. And then the rest of it came.

I put it here in memory of the very young Anne who wrote it. I put it here in memory of the 55 years when I wrote poetry and wrote music and drew pictures, and did everything that I did, with my animal family members all around me.

The Bard


Improvising, lying and ad-libbing as he goes, he goes 
on  strumming, talking, singing, feigning humor for the money,
grinning, though he knows, he knows he’s playing,
and the grinning is the game.
Settle back and listen to the love song that he sings
and sings so pretty, sad but pretty. And he’s reading all their wet-eyed pity,
but he knows he’s never loved that way: to him it’s just a song.
Close the show, give out the final number (let them know
they owe you money for your playing). Staying through the tears and cheers
            for hours… and the bard, he has his price.   
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
                                    (bard at www.toscano.com)

oh very young…

Page Seventy-five

Monday 17 May 2010                          Turners

what will you leave us this time?  —  cat stevens, before he was a muslim

I had an email today from someone I grew up with, someone I haven’t heard from since 1977. It was a nice email, not nasty or insulting in any way. I wasn’t called a delusional (this person found my website yesterday and thence my email).

She says I opened the door to literature for her way back when I was a teenager, and I’m frozen like the deer in the headlights to think that I had a positive effect on this girlhood friend when I was a know-it-all, depressed, Asperger’s weirdo teenager. That she even remembers my name and my existence is a great surprise, because I thought she’d forgotten all those things years ago. She even heard in the late 80’s that I was teaching at UMass. Heard it all that long time ago, and how?

Even a nonconformist, leftist, atheist Asperger’s misfit like Anne Nakis has sewn a few good seeds among humans along the way. But it’s always a tremendous shock to learn of one of those seeds. Because while I knew all my life that I gave good things to animals, good things that did them good, I have always felt myself on tremendously quaking ground with humans.

Hello to you again, my friend from the days of poker, piano and the power of the naive young. Thank you.


And now it’s September, and the communication between me and my girlhood friend continues.  I’m very grateful for this on many levels. First, because I’m more alone than ever in my life, now that the animals were taken and killed. Second, because she’s the smartest person I currently have in my life. The tremendous relief in talking to someone who is your intellectual equal is like ice water to a desert-trekker. And third, because, misfit as I am, she doesn’t try to change me, to re-make me into someone she could find more acceptable. Warts and all, I am accepted by her. Warts and all, I am valued by her. An extremely rare event in my existence, I can tell you. And she’s as atheistic as I am. I never have to hear “I’ll pray for you,” or “Maybe it’s god’s will,” or any other such simplistic and evasive drivel.


And she is equally valued by me. The heartbreak in this sweet picture is that we live so far apart, and cannot spend time together face-to-face. But I want to thank this friend who first appeared in my life when she was two years old, and to thank her in blogworld: In the absolute darkest time of my 57 years, you came back again, holding a small but nonetheless very beautiful candle. It shines for me every single time we write, or talk. Ten thousand tweet-thanks.

website   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


gale on a glen

Page Seventy-four

Friday 14 May 2010                   Turners and turpitude

A couple of weeks ago I ate in one of the local restaurants, one in which I have eaten many, many times in earlier years of the Turners Falls crucible. I ate alone, of course, but I sat in a place where my daughter and I often sat in those years.

Many things are not the same as they were in those other years. Daughter doesn’t live here anymore. Restaurant has a new owner, new prices, somewhat different menu. I no longer have  my own life, and my animals.

But as I sat there, remembering back to when I ate in that restaurant with my parents, with my daughter, with various friends, and alone — all back in the days of my own life — there was the usual pain in the chest, the usual tears, the usual wish that I could die right where I sat. I didn’t. And this never ceases to baffle me: how can a human heart and soul be permeated with such an enormous volume of pain and rage and despair without causing the body to just cease? Don’t understand it. The cells ought to just collapse. But they didn’t, and I continued being alive.


So I got up to go to the register and pay, and suddenly something else came over my heart. A gale of cold, icy anger. At myself. If  I had never moved to this horrible place in 1985, then my daughter and my father and my mother would never, ever have sat in this restaurant. They would  never even have heard of it. It was my doing that my kid and I came here. We were the reason my parents ever got into their car and drove to this cesspool.  All my fault, that my family members ever walked the streets of this poisonous town.

As an outsider from the east, I couldn’t have known what the people here were like before I moved here: I realize that. Nonetheless, I feel tremendous self-reproach that it was I who caused Turners Falls to ever be a factor in my human family’s life, and in the lives of my animals.

~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Share  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


may it be that i join you

 Page Seventy-three

1. Tuesday 4 May 2010

     Zachary….   funny toes, zachariah

            spring 1995 – tuesday 1 may 2001

     Sugar….   come to the canal with me this once

             april 1991 to friday 2 may 1997

    Zoë….   twisted pinto sister

              thursday 7 august 1992 to wednesday 3 may 1995

3. Monday 10 May 2010

      Peter II….   so soon, so soon the day is gone

               fall 1982 to mother’s day 1983

     Juliana….   juliane kar dansk?

              2001 – 9 may 2003

      Sadie Andrews Field….       I just know…

              1890  –  8 may 1988

4. Tuesday 18 May 2010

        Silky…  why not a guinea pig for a pal

                fall 1987  –  15 may 1989

      A brand-new robin….    Sunday 16 May 2010     

                  mea maxima culpa, tá brón orm

      Groucho….   ‘you’ll never know he’s around, dad’

                  Dec 1974 to 18 May 1990

      Here’s the future on a lucky plate, the day you say you graduate

                          Sunday 18 May 1975, Boston University

5. Monday 24 May 2010

     Monday 28 May 2007 ~~   The last Memorial Day of my own life

                                       the last with my animals

6. Wednesday 26 May 2010

      Wednesday 28 May 1997 — the hell years begin

      Matthäus….   if a picture paints 1000 words

                fall 1974 – 31 May 1978     

      Smoky….   start of the western mass family

                1984 – 31 May 1988

      ~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Page Seventy-two

Saturday the first of May, 2010

The third Bealtaine without you… how can that be.  Deora ar mo chroí go deo.

Shiloh-Chailín:  Hab’ ‘nen schönen ersten Maitag.

~~~~~~~  website ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.




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