Memories In May

Kage Baker never (as far as I could tell) forgot anything. Things she did not wish to recall were somehow shunted away –  probably into her tertiary consciousness; I know she had one – until and unless some reflex forced her to remember them. Her idea of important did not include things like “Where did you leave the car keys?” or “Did this recipe call for teaspoons of mustard, or tablespoons?”, which added enormously to the everyday excitement of life.

It did prioritize things like “What was that book I liked? You know, it had a green cover and had a jam stain shaped  like a paisley on the dedication page. I got it out of the Library once …” That kind of thing could rule our lives for weeks at a time as she searched all our books (in case we had forgotten to return it to the Library), went through increasingly convoluted search protocols on line, and racked our combined brains. I was usually reduced to insane screaming eventually. The really annoying thing was that this routine usually worked, and she would find the damned book.

I gradually came to the conclusion that she was actually forcing the multiverse to create these things, and then cough them up for her. And I most sincerely wish I could do that, too. Determination and skill at search engines has made me better than anyone else in the family at finding the dimly remembered and poorly described, but I am not in Kage’s league. She could locate extinct paper popup bat decorations, and the last known bottles of outre liqueurs not distilled since WWI. And these are RL examples, folks. My best score to date has been finding Knorr Hunter’s Sauce Mix, though only in German packaging. Luckily, Kimberly reads German.

And now, some fun with past, future and current events. Which are inextricably tangled.

In France, enormous blue worms have been found. They resemble planaria, which every biology student will recall as being those clever little buggers you can split like a twig to produce worms with Cerberus heads: but these French worms are up to 3 feet long. And blue, although I bet that is not a pertinent fact; just interesting. The really interesting facts are that 1) they are being found not only in France, but in French territories (there still are French territories; I had no idea) which would indicate that there is something special being shared amid places as disparate as Paris and Polynesia, some distinct worm  terroire. And 2), while the worms are new to the world in general, French gardeners have known about them for 20 years.

Oh, and they are carnivorous. What a blast from the past!

The world is predicted to end on June 24th this year. They mean it, now! It’s been  calculated by adding the Number of the Beast to numbers of local UK crop circles, along with the current crop prices. This makes slightly more sense than most Apocalypse predictions, since it would effect beer:  but I still wouldn’t count too much on it. On the other hand, Kage always said that every such prediction was true and actually happened, only no one noticed.

On the further subject of Time … today is the anniversary of the Spanish Armada beginning to leave for England (it took 2 more days to clear the Port of Lisbon); it didn’t turn out well. Louis Agassiz and  Ian Fleming were born; so was Stephen Gillan. All those turned out very well indeed.

Today is a day for remembering. The late sunlight is shining through the lace curtains in my bedroom, and the shadows on the walls recall the oak trees casting acres of deep, fractal shade at ancient Renaissance Faires. I found an old Hawaiian shirt in a drawer, and am remembering the crazed book signing to which I originally wore it. Tom Barclay sent me a necklace of red beads and brass clock faces with no hands: which recalls all the unquiet, unregulated, strangely constructed Time in Kage’s vicinity … and lets me wade a little in that stream, and search the bottom for interestingly coloured glass fragments.

Kage said Time is not a river; or if it is, it’s all oxbows and meanders. You can reenter wherever you like, if you are intent enough.

I have no screed or sermon to add to this day’s memories – only the general idea that we should remember as much as we possibly can, because everything is worth it eventually. And, as Kage firmly believed, not only does nothing ever end, it’s all happening at the same time. Which  is Now.

There is an old British folk custom of telling your daily events to the bees. Perhaps memories should be told to the poppies.


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About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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