6.6.11 Will All Those Moments in Time Be Lost Like Tears in Rain?

 I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships off the shores of Orion. Glittering C-beams at Tannhausser Gate.  All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.
– Batty in
Blade Runner

The rush of wind sweeping up off a prairie in West Texas just before sunset. The electric blue light on a January dusk in the Hudson Valley. The smell of rain in June when you’re in love. Tender eyes that say, “I believe in you.” The last time you held your father’s hand.

The Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, based on the Philip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, plays out questions of what it is to be human, namely the relationship of memory and identity. In the climactic scene above, a central android – rebelling in his “desire” to be “free” – gives detective Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, a glimpse of his android “humanity” and of, indeed, his own original, non-implanted memories.

That image of “moments in time…lost like tears in rain” has haunted me since I saw the flick in the ’80s.

Where do memories go? Residues go in our viscera. Some in our neuronal wiring. Some get passed down and revised. Some memory-fragments get converted into art, combined into literary characters & tales, shape-shifted into sculptures.

A side-wonder: Need we be wary of ten or more hours a day digital interfacing? Will such habits gradually numb the visceral? Is it likely that a person interacting with computers and iPhones more than physical surroundings and human beings will have far less sensual memories to lose? I wonder.

Imagine a planet made of your smallest, most tender memories. Savor them. You never know what life form might grow from them.

Share below your day’s 3 highlights – and let us know where you’re writing from.

See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy

Batty in Blade Runner
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7 responses to “6.6.11 Will All Those Moments in Time Be Lost Like Tears in Rain?

  1. That was so amazingly beautiful it gave me chills! Simply fantastic. Thank you!

  2. 1. My son eating his birthday cake and ending up smeared with chocolate

    2. Singing songs with my 2 year old daughter. Usually she holds her ears when I sing, but today she snuggled into me.

    3. Getting a beautiful email from the parent of a student I teach saying wonderful things.

    Keith (usually Atlanta, but today New Jersey)

  3. 1. Early this morning, my 22-mo-old daughter asking for and flipping through – yet again – Keith Richards’ memoir, page by page, at least three times (and often pointing to photos of KR and saying, “Papa!”)
    2. A seamless, incredibly gratifying flow of six client meetings with six incredibly talented, authentic human beings – the last of whom said, “You know, you have a most enviable life.”
    3. Talking to my wife today about the likely parent ‘care-taking’ responsibilities that are on my near-horizon and knowing in my heart that everything’s going to be okay.
    – from Accord, New York

  4. Sounds like a heck of a great day!

  5. 1) Having dinner with an old friend from my younger work years and having my sons realize I wasn’t always an old father…
    2) Realizing how quickly time passes yet friendships remain and can be picked up jubliantly…
    3) Walking through history, understanding all the human tradgedy in wars and conflicts and yet how our spirit and humanity still shines through…
    From Washington, DC… a return to an earlier career and life.

  6. 1. Will all the subatomic particles I become after I die be wiser because of the books I’ve read? I like to think so. At least maybe they’ll be happier.
    I’ve just finished reading Gide’s “The Counterfeiters” and am still thinking about it. But the journal that Gide kept (included in the Modern Library edition) when planning and writing the novel besides providing insight into how such a writer develops such a novel actually deepens my appreciation for and understanding of any complex telling of a story. (Wow, this is some highlight!)
    2. Thinking about how I’m going to going to go out there this morning and pull up stuff and brush off pine needles and clean up and recreate our little space of pebbles that surround our Indonesian Devi Sri, our rice field goddess without a rice field.
    3. Just the breezes and sunlight coming through the open windows, all of them open this morning upstairs, and the very promise of the day.
    Kingston, New York