Monday, December 24, 2007

The Power to Remember

I was sitting outside last night. I'm in Florida, so the weather was beautiful, the sky clear, and a giant full moon lit the night. I started thinking about all that's happened the past year, the shifts in lives of so many people I love. I can walk through the days that passed as if they were happening today, I can recall smells and temperature, I can remember the sky, the conversations, the feelings, the food, the clothing, everything. I can return, revisit, remember. I can go back and forth, from then to now, taking what I want, leaving what I don't. Memory is power.

It seems I have two tools in life - one sketches an image of the future, creating what I imagine things might be. The other acts as an eraser, rubbing off what didn't transpire. One is promise, the other reality. A wise man once told me there is a difference between the two, that the scars of experience remind us which is which.

Malcolm has moved to Mayo Jacksonville, and is doing great things in the Alzheimer's lab there. Claes continues his work at Scripps Florida, making tremendous strides as well. The two of them stand as examples for me. I am not a scientist, far from it, but I watch their dedication, their determination, and their unstoppable quest to cure a disease that killed my father and millions of others. I remain dedicated and determined to help them in any way I can.

They want to do such a simple thing - allow each of us to maintain ownership of the incredible power to recall our own past, to keep the reality of one's life where it belongs, in the memory of who we are, what we are, when we are, where we are, and why we are. They fight for preservation of our personal history, the uniqueness of our lives, our individual meaning.

They think they're curing a disease, I think they're saving the world.

1 comment:

  1. Oh those scars of experience, they are a bitchin' guide, ain't they? Memory is power, I agree. Proust said, "Memory is reaity," in the sense that while things are actually happening, we don't experience them fully (and often don't even understand what's really going on); it's only afterwards, when we reflect on experience, that it truly "happens."