Time and Memory
From A Mythology of My Own Making
Coyote looked at the sky but the color was not right; everything was recognizable, but nothing was familiar.
“This place is not my own”, said Coyote, “ my feet have lost their connection to the earth and so then has my soul. This I must change.” And he began to walk.
“Walking is how you find things”, he thought. “It is neither too slow nor too fast. This is how we should move across the ground to find the things we need; walking is the pace of the soul.”
So he walked through the desert and through time. He walked in the past to find a trail.
“There is always a trail if we look”, the ants told him, “but if you use only your eyes, you will not see it, and it is foolish to think that you will.”
“I must see with different eyes”, thought Coyote, “eyes that see what only can be seen with my heart; only my heart can see what shimmers but is not solid. The place I seek is the house of my heart and it will not be easily found.”
He came upon shadows and that was good because shadows are companions. All things under the sun have companions, although not all are easy to see.
And he came upon dark as well, and this was not always so good.
“It is where my fears lie”, he thought, “and they are real.”
But he said to himself, “without fears, I have no reason to be brave, and without the need to be brave, I would not seek the One who made all. I would not seek the well within me, the place that is filled with all that I have been given, so I would never learn.” So Coyote continued to walk even though he was frightened at times.
He passed himself, seeing who he was, and he saw his shadow, the suggestion of what he thought. Behind his shadow and himself, in that place behind both voices, he looked for the truth of who he was. He was looking at his past.
“But I can change the past”, he said, “by merely remembering it differently, that is all it takes, because it is my past and no one else can have it, or ever see it as I do.”
So Coyote changed his past to give it a different color. He smiled his coyote smile as the darkness became sun and he rested in the shadows of the rocks, where the spirits of the rocks moved relentlessly around the sun to mark their ground.
Coyote knew something of this. “The rocks are slower than I am”, said Coyote, “but they will get there in the end.”
“And more unchanged than me.”
“But I am not a rock”, he said.
So he went in search of water to tell the water what he had found, so it could record his thoughts as the water does. The water would spread his thoughts into the pool of memories, so that it would not be forgotten. This way Coyote could return and drink from his memories so that he did not have to keep searching in places he had already been. But of course he did anyway, for this is the way of all creatures.
“It is not good to have memories that do not change”, thought Coyote, “then you would never be able to change the past, only live the same moment over and over again. There is nothing to be gained in doing that.” Coyote knew his memories were only conversations with himself, and that many other voices were a part of that conversation.
“You cannot remember all of the other voices of all the things that are alive when a memory is made”, Coyote sang to himself as he walked, “that would not be possible, or”, he sang, “even desirable.”
“And”, Coyote thought in song, “all things under the sky are alive. And that is a quite a few voices to help find where my place is, and where I am sometimes supposed to be.”
“The search for my place can only be done alone”, he said aloud as he walked from day into the dusk, “but my place can be shared.”
And this made Coyote smile.