As I get older, I hear my peers lamenting their loss of memory. I’ve so far resisted that lament, even though I am aware of comparable losses. I persist in my belief that whatever remains is always the heart of being human. Perhaps I am fooling myself and accepting a self-serving view of reality: it must be real because every time I check it’s there.
What I find more troubling than an inability to recall particular names of people and things is that my memories increasingly feel like a lackluster chorus line dancing the same routines in the same order.
When I wrote this piece, I was not thinking of TSK; although in retrospect I was influenced by Rinpoche’s vision of linear time. I was searching for an alternative to being confined in a series of thoughts and events where each one is repeating something that has already happened.
I think my story is an exploration of the possibility of remaining in touch with the heart of time, even when memory vanishes in a drastic way (as with Alzheimer’s Disease). And when I returned to an earlier period of my life, I was searching for a quality of openness to the potential of the future, even when I have already lived through it once before. I suppose I hope that even when the future seems to be limited by what has come before, a spirit of discovery and growth can still be bursting at the seams of each arising moment.