I spent last weekend at a spectacular cottage on Gananoque Lake in Eastern Ontario with three of my oldest and dearest. We ate great food (steak and caprese salad made with local tomatoes, basil and water buffalo mozzarella one night, and local pickerel, roasted beets and new heirloom carrots the next night), we laughed, drank wine and laughed some more. The cool thing about this cottage is that it is slightly off the grid. There’s a rock, which we christened “Google Rock”, about thirty metres from the cottage, so if you wanted to check your email or even phone anyone you had to go there.
So, one morning I’m in the swinging chair with one of my coven watching the loons dive for breakfast and talking about ways that I could make money so that I could just write my damned book. I suggested selling a kidney, which led me to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, but of course I couldn’t actually retrieve his name. The conversation went like this:
“You know the guy who wrote a book that got turned into a movie starring Sir what’s his name, you know the guy from that other movie – ahhhhhhhh! – fava beans and chianti…”
My friend who is and has always been memory-challenged looked at me quizzically. “No.”
Suddenly I could feel it…the little people who live in my brain being shaken awake – “Quick! She needs information. Go down to the vault and see if you can find it.” The little people scurry…actually, hobble, because it’s been awhile since they’ve had to move. They go to the vault and start searching for the right filing cabinet. Blowing dust and cobwebs off, they start flipping through the file titled, “USELESS MOVIE/CELEBRITY INFORMATION”.
“Eureka!” They cry. Up they hobble and hand over the info.
“Anthony Hopkins!” I cry. “Remains of the Day!” I’m delighted with myself. “Kazuo Ishiguro!” Wow! I’m a freaking savant.
I had just Googled my own brain.
It’s actually one of the more satisfying things I’ve done in a while, though that may sound a bit pathetic. For the past few years whenever I couldn’t remember something, I just reached for my phone or iPad and the oracle we call Google provided all the information I needed and then some. My brain has done got lazy. I have resolved that I will allow the little people in my brain to get more of a workout from now on. Try my best to remember first and let Google be my last resort. Go on. Google your brain. It feels great!
On a more Blog-related note, the residency was excellent. A whole bunch of smarty pantses with remarkable stories to tell. Two weeks with the like-minded and the eccentric, where everyone was everyone’s cheerleader and I rarely had to explain myself. It was difficult to come back to reality and a wriggly pup and obligations, but with the help of a remarkable group of friends and understanding family, I’m slowly but surely shoehorning my desires into my have-to’s.