Re-shelving and sorting books today, putting them in alphabetical order by author, since that is the way I have found it is easiest for me to find the one I want. Surprisingly, I am far more likely to recall the author than the title of a particular book. I say surprisingly because I am increasingly subject to those little memory slips, lightly called "senior moments" by those who don't yet have them (though they will...I promise). For instance, today I was emailing a friend with the names of several other people who would be attending a meeting and one name just...went. Could not think of it for the life of me...though I could clearly picture the person's face, could even hear her voice. But do you think her name would come? Blank- that was my mind- one big blank.
But in the book sorting today I encountered a book I had forgotten
I had. Amidst my many, many, many volumes of poetry by various
and sundry poets, there was Forever Fifty by Judith Viorst. Now I am
clearly far beyond fifty, but the poems in this amusing little volume
still resonate with me even as I am far closer to old age than middle
age (I can only still consider myself in the latter category if I figure
I'll live to one-hundred-forty!) And one seemed especially fitting as I contemplated those little memory slips which seem to plague me
more and more these days. It's called "Eight Basic Facts about
Memory" and I share it with you, with a tip of the hat to Judith.
The fact that people don't stop you when you ask them to stop
you if you've told them this story
Doesn't mean that you haven't told it before.
The fact that you're only buying a couple of items at the store
Doesn't mean that you don't need to bring a list to the store.
The fact that you're put the passports in such a safe place that
they couldn't possibly get lost
Doesn't mean that you actually, currently know where they are.
The fact that you've parked your car carefully
Doesn't mean, when the movie is over, that you will still recall
where you parked the car.
The fact that you rushed upstairs because there was something you
desperately needed in your closet
Doesn't mean, once you get there, that you'll recollect why
The fact that you've known a person for thirty-five years
Doesn't mean, when you go to introduce him, that you can count on
remembering his name.
The fact that you said good-bye and walked out the door
Doesn't mean that you won't be back immediately in order to get
all the things you left behind.
And the fact that...
And the fact that...
And the fact that, the fact that, the fact that...
It's slipped my mind.
Of course, I also take comfort from the wisdom of a long-time
friend, a bit my senior, who told me many years ago, "As we get
older, we seem to forget more because we have so much more in
there to forget...more knowledge, more experiences, more
memories." Yes, I think I'll take that explanation- so much nicer
than "Senior Moments". And you have my permission to borrow
it any time you wish. After all, we "seniors" have to stick together,