Tuesday, September 04, 2007

good storytelling

right. so a few entries back, i wanted your thoughts on "commuter church." i find the concept interesting, as i have been attending and now work at such a place. for sure, this is not the ideal situation for me... however if i were to attend a local church in the town i grew up in, i would surely put out my eyes in frustration. 30 minutes in a car each way, is also not ideal, but gets me closer to people that are closer to how i see things. there are good things happening there, and has its drawbacks like all churches. it's just all those darn people in them.

so... i've been wondering how to pass the time in the car without being blinded by road rage or totally spaced out. i borrowed a cd to learn italian - random, yes, but i think italian sounds cool. it started off easy, like "Buonasera/Good evening" then about 3 seconds later "excuse me but could you tell me how to get to the nearest hotel with a balcony?" not so helpful. i was not inspired.

what has kept me laughing and faintly inspired to keep writing/thinking are the podcasts on my ipod: this american life (which my brother claims is the only thing people listen to when they talk about npr), a prarie home companion's news from lake wobegon (i'm not from the midwest, so this is a new discovery), NPR religion. an new addition is WNYC's Radiolab, on the recommendation from this american life (honestly, i'd do whatever ira glass told me). radiolab is like a more science-y TAL but just as interesting. anyway, listening to them has given me an appreciation for the oral/aural tradition of story telling. perhaps another avenue for writing? we'll see.

anyway, back to radiolab, i'd recommend the june 7th podcast, "memory & forgetting." there's interesting stuff about how we remember things, experiments with lab rats concerning memory, just how subjective/fluid our memories are, and so on. the most intriguing story is towards the end, about englishman clive wearing. a gifted conductor & musicologist (though i don't even really know what a musicologist is) fell ill to a virus that affected his brain and memory. seen the film memento? this guy is living it (well, without the shooting of people). his wife deborah, would visit him, and he'd greet her as if he hadn't seen her in years (seeing her and conducting music are the only things that he has any vague recollection of) then she'd go home and there would be 20 messages from him asking to see her, in each message he is unaware of the other messages he'd left. holding a conversation with him is difficult. the man is not anchored in time; life starts over every few minutes. hard to imagine being him, or being married to him. amazingly she is still with him and wrote a memoir about it - "forever today." go have a listen. i'm tempted to get the book too. what are we without our memories?

No comments: