My storage capacity is overflowing. Before anything new can come in it seems something else must go out. Or I have to go to systems control and obtain more capacity, a mysterious process that comes from the clouds.
Should some of my archives be deleted? There may be useful material embedded next to what is now trash.
It would be easy to decide what is other people’s trash – anything having to do with hate or belittlement of themselves or others. It’s not so easy to decide what is one’s own trash.
Oh, that’s a sweet memory even if it makes me sad. Oh, and that resentment surely has protective value in case I am ever again in that exact same situation in that way with that kind of person.
And what about that glorious moment of vanity when I and my world were young? Wasn’t that fun and wasn’t I spectacular?
But I don’t want to review everything in order to select what can stay and what should go. It doesn’t seem efficient or the point.
Yes, I understand my processing has slowed down here and there, and that I have a few software glitches, but I have workarounds. My operating system is basically sound. There are ways that it is more sensitive and responsive and discerning than ever before. It’s just that it is so full, and has started self-deleting, people’s names especially.
For decades I could increase my storage capacity by changing my perception of what I am capable of, expanding my emotional depth, and allowing breakage of my perceived reality so that a larger reality could replace the smaller one – so that my storage held more beauty, more pain, more compassion, and more nuanced and complex truths.
But is there a time when the sheer epic size of the myriad facets of being alive among other humans and animals and plants and songs and wars and love and art calls for compressed data rather than enhanced data, for haiku rather than saga, for the porcelain vase rather than the pieta, for a sonata rather than Wagner?
I see in the vase a world with history, passion, intent, and occasional breakage. I hear in a single flute as deep a message as that of a full symphony. I experience in a gesture such life that I am in danger of being overwhelmed by a chaos of many gestures – more evidence of a capacity at its limit or of a system operating at its fullest?
I can no longer process war, I can no longer process violence, I can no longer process guns and the other ways we kill each other. I can hardly process the face of another mother or father or child in anguish, though I certainly try. There are reasons we watch cat videos. They are manageable.
We are, I see unfolding as I write, all going through our lives with overloaded storage capacities. Files on love and peace, and how to have both, are submerged under files on survival, distraction, ambition, and voluntary ignorance. Love doesn’t get enough hits.
But love is there if we use our search engine – and with time, many of us search for it. With time, we know the universe is incomprehensible. With time we know the ranges of morality, we know life is a tragicomedy, we know every child needs protection and opportunity. We know one unnecessary death is a tragedy. We know that hundreds and thousands of unnecessary deaths is NOT a statistic. It is hundreds and thousands of tragedies.
We are humans, not computers. Blood runs through our veins and irrationality enlivens our visions.
In the vase I see the world. In the haiku I hear the millions. In the touch of my grandchild’s cheek I feel the precious lives of all children. It is enough to fill me.