memory is something savored

how some of us refresh the memories
go over them at leisure
in leisure

times

picture events
in meticulous recall for our own
pleasure… the reasons
for this

and that
a backdrop to
understanding… the memories

because i remember
the set to his mouth
a steadfastness that blasted the swallow’s nest
with the hose

the necessity of doing unpleasant things
registered for me that day
as i picked up the tiny blue egg

knowing it would never fly

but was it blue?
do swallows have blue eggs
or did i insert that at some point
to qualify my wonder

to explain how it hurt
me

to shoulder that particular side of necessity
and format guilt to its chosen
box

file
list of contrast to delight
at the wholeness
of one beginning

one egg
not crushed

refreshed in these moments
to myself
spent shoring continuity

creating a smile for the mouth
but not the eyes
lost inside the complexity
of gathered reasons
piled on yesterday,
still

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4 Replies to “memory is something savored”

  1. A wonderfully thought-invoking piece once again Eileen. From the opening lines, your words led my own memory back to a sad and terribly difficult time during which my mother suffered the gradual decline of the ravaging Alzheimer’s Disease. Following mom’s passing, dad would eventually go through similar with dementia.

    In both cases, the gradual cognitive failure became increasingly evident. Their ability to enjoy reading and browsing images became a futile effort as they had lost their thought processes that would normally transmit impressions and perspective, comfort and enjoyment to the brain. Out of sheer frustration for the lack of memory and hence their place and purpose in life, they became increasingly withdrawn and resigned to the darkness and void they were held captive to endure for whatever time they had left in this world.

    How torturous that was for us as a family to observe. The very things that we continue to ‘savor’ and draw upon at will were those things which mom and dad, and those so afflicted, were lost and no longer a part of their world.

    The range of emotions that memory invokes is broad and differs from one individual to another. Without memory, though we may have something of a presence in the physical sense, what existence do we really have in life once the conscious recognition of all that life entails has escaped our new and lesser reality.

    We take for granted something as seemingly simple as the ability to recall, good, bad or indifferent. When that ability gradually diminishes, our world is cast in shadows, fear, unfamiliarity, and eventual total disconnect.

    Life is cruel that way…or is it simply nature’s way of allowing us to leave this world, when so afflicted, without burden?

  2. well, Don, i think that we treat people incorrectly for certain illnesses …. and the dementia and alzheimers could be in that” group. it’s possible, since the memory and any enjoyment through memory is LOST … then perhaps the living in the moment should be focused upon as making that MORE pleasant. not less pleasant shut in a room staring at a wall. kept “safe” — when it’s really not much that is being saved there.

    i know that when i lost my ability to imagine — when medications injected took away my ability to IMAGINE life outside of where i was right at that moment. and i could not conceive the idea that in a week or a month or a year, i would eventually be out of that cell confinement. it wasn’t that i couldn’t imagine it — it’s that my imagination did not exist. and so i was in that moment for eternity.

    eternity ….. i’m serious.

    so as far as any “hell” of the mind — as long as the mind is attached to the body (until death), it is the comfort of the body and the knowledge of care —– care, love, and concern by fellow humans. and you don’t have to remember a human for that human to be kind to you. it is the distress of the child not being remembered by the parent — but the parent then becomes distressed if they understand they should know or remember. if they feel like a failure ……..

    so freedom and good living in the moment … and not feeling sorry for them to make them more upset. a child has little memory …. yet they can experience so much joy.

    life is short —- we, humans — need to treat each other as good as we possibly can until that fiery chariot calls and the exit arrives. each person has their own reality, anyway. they only interact according to imagination ….

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