Memory angel

One of the neat ideas China Mieville spins in Kraken is that of memory angels, supernatural beings brought into existence by long-in-the-tooth objects. Museums spawn memory angels, and they in turn guard their museums, sometimes with deadly force.

Not sure if my blog has enough personal history to spawn its own memory angel, but I do think that if I developed movie-amnesia* tomorrow, I could recover most of what I needed to know by re-reading this blog. Case in point: tonight, after watching the first half of David Lynch’s Eraserhead**, I searched my blog for references to Eraserhead and found this old Thirteen about my sophomore year in college. Rereading it, I’d be hard pressed to write a better reminiscence of that year.

Sometimes I think that the purpose of this blog was memoir. Memoir was and is its reason for being. In worried fantasies of my premature death, I see this as a way part of me can live on for my wife and son. And when I exhausted those memories***, the drive to write daily dissipated.

Back to Eraserhead, a movie I think I have to see once per decade to discover whether it’s any less creepy. Nope. Here’s the Lady in the Radiator singing “In Heaven,” a short song that has been covered by scads of bands including Devo, Bauhaus, and the Pixies.

Yes, I know what Eraserhead means. I suspect anyone would — the symbolism is none too subtle. But like David Lynch, I’m not telling.


*You know — something that happens only in movies: I’m fine, neurologically, except that my memories are zapped.

**Forty-five minutes being about all Karen could stand . . .

***No. Of course not. But the safer memories, the better memories are all here.


  1. KK says:

    I’m amazed you remembered all that stuff! I guess if I sat down at thought hard, I’d be able to come up with some memories from college. Mostly I just have a few images and some well-honed stories that may have some relationship to what actually happened, but have probably been adjusted over time to make a better narrative. Grad school made more of an impression on me, but maybe I was just too young in college.

    I’m not a very past-oriented person. Now that I’m probably past the half-way mark, I’m trying not to be such a future-oriented person, since I have less future with every day, and work more on the whole Zen being in the present.

    Never saw Eraserhead. Maybe it’s time.

  2. Walnut says:

    I, on the other hand, am focused on the past, of which there is more and more every day :)