Reading The Blue Clerk, 146

“Verso 40.2”

They keep going places to find themselves. They keep going places to find the selves they imagine they should be. They keep going places to find the selves hidden deep inside the accretions that make them who they are going to find. Exfoliated selves. I have never traveled to find myself. Though I have traveled to escape myself. And found myself there. Or a self. Or something that was not a mirror or a reckoning or an epiphany. Something.

I have a photo of me who is me.

When they said photos steal souls, they meant something about the capture of time, the soul sliced out of time to imprint something called memory. And this, this photo, this is me. This was me. This is a moment called memorable.

Every few days, the photo app announces 1 year ago or 2 years ago or 3 years ago, insisting that an image I took is part of memory. It must be remembered. An image can be an entanglement or an acknowledgment, not a memory. If memory is about a self engaging with a world, a moment suffused with feeling. I do not recall what I felt when that image happened. That me is not me. Even that image by me is not by a me I recognize.

and then there is the me who is me

The clever person in French said something about copies and originals and how an original is always a copy of a copy of a copy.  Or something like that. This me is that me and yet another me. These are acts of claiming, you understand, and have no basis in reality. A million cells flaked off before this and this. And this flaking is also the me who would have been before the me who shall be. Photos make it easier. Or more difficult. To slice time. To knit it.

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