Posts Tagged With: forgetting

Still Kami: Bringing Me Back to Myself

Geese making a noisy run for it.

Geese making a noisy run for it.

Friday Letter to my Kids – January 16, 2015

Dear J, J, L and L,

I read this book about five years back called “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s. (It’s coming out as a movie soon, but of course, the book is better.) Since then, and since my Mom’s stroke, I’ve thought about getting older and memory loss a whole bunch.

Frost lace on a December morning.

Frost lace edging the leaves on a December morning.

Some days I already feel ancient and ready to call it a life. I never dreamed that by this age I’d feel old already. Creaky, slow to get going in the mornings, aches, pains. Some days thinking about living another twenty, thirty or forty years just about puts me over the edge. I know this is tough for you to grasp since you’re all still really young regardless of how old or mature you might feel.

Anyway, the real point I want to get to is this. If I start to forget stuff, or get a bit of dementia, or if I just need lots of physical care, could you please make sure I get my daily fix?

I know for some people that’s a morning cup of coffee, or a diet coke, or some chocolate, or maybe a certain news program, a half hour of Jeopardy, a glass of wine, a good laugh, prayer, meditation or a zillion other possibilities.

Mid-january leaves carpeting the pathway.

Mid-january leaves carpeting the pathway.

For me, my daily fix comes in the form of nature. When I start to forget who I am a walk at the Riparian always brings me back to myself. If I can’t fit in a walk then just sitting on the porch swing can kickstart the old psyche. Even as a kid in midwinter with the temps hovering at minus ten, I’d find a way to get my daily dose of sunshine, usually curled into the shape of the sunlight coming through a window.

If you have to put me in a nursing home or care center it’d be best if they had a sunroom, or a little garden. If, heaven forbid, I have to live in an apartment I’d really really really need a patio or porch and some plants with a hummingbird feeder and maybe even a bird feeder.

Indoor plants don’t cut it. I always manage to kill them with kindness and attention, or inattention, I’m never sure which.

What is it about a body of water that's so soothing?

What is it about a body of water that’s so soothing?

A daily walk or stroll will keep me from tipping the scale from sanity to insanity, even as my legs and eyesight and mental capacity all wither away.

Yup, I count nature as more important than books, if you can believe it. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to an audio book or large print novel to read while I sit outside in the shade or the sun.

That’s all for today, I guess.

Oh, except, I hope you know what your daily fix is. What’s that one thing that gives you daily energy, fills your morning bucket, floats your twenty-four hour boat or keeps you moving forward every day? If you don’t know I hope you find it soon and then make sure it happens regularly. It can help keep you cheerful even in tough times.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Nature isn’t all that little, but a tiny bit of it every day keeps me steady and strong.

Loving you in a big way,

Mom

Yesterday's sunset at the Riparian.

Yesterday’s sunset at the Riparian.

 

Categories: Friday Letters, Nature, Outdoors, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Forgetting, Remembering, Wondering

PortalPhilosophers

Some really smart thinkers.

Have you ever wondered why we can’t remember something incredibly important, like a close relative’s name when you need to introduce them to someone, but yet you can never forget some of the most hideous, stupid, inane, mind-squinching things?

The question circles around in my head constantly the past few days.

Why, why, why can’t I annihilate gross images, scary things, disgusting stuff from my memory banks?

Why, why, why can’t I remember wonderful people, details from a red-letter day, words that hover at the edge of my brain?

Is it the shock of a particular thought or word or image that embeds it more permanently? Does the vile and vulgar register on gray matter in a more potent formula of chemical reactions? Are happy, joyfilled, pleasant thoughts less powerful, less meaningful, less memorable for a reason?

The brain, the mind, and consciousness fascinate me.

I read a book once called Sophie’s World, which in story form explained many philosophies. It seems like it might have addressed this very question. But of course, now that I want to recall those details, I can’t.

Seems it covered Marx, Socrates, Kierkegaard, Kant, Democritus, Darwin, Plato, St. Augustine, Hume, Spinoza, Floyd, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and a few others. It’s been at least fifteen years since I read it, so it’s miraculous I remember any of this.

I’ll have to scare up a copy of the book. I loaned my out and never got it back. When I’ve gotten through it and found an answer or two, I’ll get back to you.

Did, or will this book help me with my question? I have no idea. But it has come to mind as I’ve thought about the remembering and forgetting issue. So I’m kind of going with it. Seems like it might have opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about and viewing the world and life in general.  Somehow it feels like it might help me understand my remembering and forgetting. Who knows. Like I said, I’ll find a copy and dig in and see what I find.

head anatomy lateral view superficial details

head anatomy lateral view superficial details (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most likely I need an anatomy book, or a neuroscience book. That’d probably be more helpful, but I’m less likely to understand what I’m reading.

In the meantime, I’ll keep wondering.

And remembering. Ack!

And forgetting. Eesh!

Categories: Books, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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