I was back in the vines again today. The pause after the harvest is done. The last full moon before winter is waning, the cutting back begins. I was happy to see the vigneron and his wife, and they seemed happy to see me. We exchanged the stories of our lives from the last chapter which ended several months ago. I could say it was an uneventful day, but then what day that we are alive is un-event-full.
There is a woman, I don’t know, who is going to the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist uses images in situations to get into what the patients are feeling. This doctor uses the images as a relational object, a tool that allows her to ‘work’ with the patients. In this case the patient is the woman that I was talking about, the one I don’t know.
For example, the doctor says to this woman patient - you are standing in front of a sink and the faucet is running.
The patient replies to the doctor – I pull out the plug so that the water can run out, and I clean the sink out with my hands.
The conversation goes on. How do you feel about doing that, what are you thinking when you are doing that, what does that bring up for you etc. etc. Well they get to the crux when the woman, who is the patient I don’t know, starts remembering that at 8 years old when her alcoholic father was slapping her mother around, she had taken a frying pan and whacked the father. The father quickly proceeded to pass out on the ground.
She thought she had killed her father. Imagine what would run through your head at that point. It did for the woman and she consequently pushed aside, into the shadows, those reactions for the rest of her life until that moment with the doctor. When the doctor asked her what that invoked in her now she says two words. .Culpability. Guilt. Then is silent for a long time.
It seemed hard to believe she could forget such an event. At least that’s what I thought until I tried to think about myself at 8. It was long ago but still within my lifetime. It was me - and as I realize when I remember something from a long ago time – it is me. But thinking back to 8 years old I could remember nothing. Zero, neither good or bad. Just nothing.
I know something must have happened, and if you told me something from then I would probably remember it. But randomly I could bring up nothing. I suddenly thought how the woman I don’t know could have forgotten that episode and the soaring – Culpability and Guilt. – that came within that moment. Why would you want to remember it.
That’s who we are, the events we are made of. Remembered and forgotten, they etch themselves into our brains. Like deeply embedded lines of code on a computers hard drive, if the right buttons are pushed they dictate how our program operates.
We’re complex, we have code in our brains that was written tens of thousands of years ago that’s being added to at every moment we experience. With this we make our life. We are all working on our own hard drive which is connected to a network that spans all time. Meanwhile our shadow is constantly hiding, following us, shifting shapes, insinuating itself into who we are.
It’s amazing we aren’t all screaming and wailing in the streets. That is an event itself, and it happened today. That’s why it’s hard for me to say that it was an uneventful day even though it seems all I really did today was just more immigrant labor in the vines.