no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active
Available on Amazon
Notwithstanding the pickling and pruning of the average genarian the most widely seen cognitive change associated with aging is that of the Procedural, Episodic, Working, and Semantic memory. The functioning or lack of is uniquely personal and can be of some concern. Personally this memory/recall thing doesn’t really bother me until I think about it. If you live long enough all the closets in the upper house become cluttered with stuff you only go looking for when something or someone plants a seed, otherwise out of sight, out of mind.
I know I’m not alone when I leave my mind behind—climbing the stairs, entering a room going after something that, just an interminable second ago, was the most important priority, focus, quest on my agenda, only to return to the origin of the thought to re-enact what it might have been that I was after.
Perhaps it’s not that my motor skills are any less vibrant than when I was younger—I still remember how to ride a bike, it’s just that I’m not all that interested anymore in pedaling about, and I still could walk, talk and chew gum at the same time if it weren’t for my dentures. When it comes to how to do stuff I may have forgotten a few things, but now I know how to find it on YouTube or Wikihow.com.
Early grade school left me with just one off the top of my head episodic memory: the little old lady teaching grade 5 periodically zoning out and starting to take her clothes off in the front of the class, and someone always running to get a nun. Those mental tags about where, when and how information is picked up doesn’t sit out there on a garage sale table waiting to be plucked, they have to be searched for, and the search gets a little more interesting with the aging process.
Working at trying to manipulate the present is like trying to alter the past, and processing information is more work than the curmudgeon in me generally wants to deal with. Irritability comes on when decision making demands a perceived unreasonableness. I know if I pay attention I just might learn a thing or two, and if I’m lucky it will stick.
Seemingly patience has become my patron saint of forgetfulness. It allows me to abdicate responsibility in the land-of-forget-me-nots where grey-cells become the dandruff of should haves and oops, maybe, if only I had remembered what I … Sometimes it’s just lazy mind. With the esposa a walking Rolodex, I don’t really have to dig deep in the recesses of the skull for the names of people that I meet, and when searching for the meaning of things, Google has usurped my semantic memory, transferring recall from my cerebral cortex to my fingertips.
Do we really need to remember every name, place, event, taste, smell, song etc., why not take every new encounter as a surprise—a fresh face, a familiar but exotic smell, a subtle and refreshing taste, an exquisite moment, the feeling brought on by sound of the Moonlight Sonata. I have learned, and keep reminding myself, I need only to be the keeper of the world around me to relive the memory of all that I have known and cared for. I need to be joyful of memory and open to what comes along when it does, and when it does I’ll be seated in the first pew, knowing it will unfold in its own time at the altar of love.
Memory or no memory
just a question?
in the land-of-forget-me-nots.
grey-cells become the dandruff
of should haves and oops,
if only I had remembered
what I ……
Everyone leaves his or her mind behind
when they climb the stairs
enter a room
go after something that,
just an interminable second ago,
was the most important priority,
focus, quest, on their agenda.
The mind sometimes,
is peculiar to itself
and ignores your concern.
Nothing particular, has an age about it,
except what others perceive,
transform in their minds what is,
in their consideration,
what old should look like.
Weathered being the primary observation
linked to previous exposure.
Nothing sticks when whatever
the day brings is just the way it is,
for the older you get,
the harder you get.
The more a word, an innuendo,
a tone taken tips the balance
of pain and pleasure.
the older you get,
the softer you get,
Nothing noteworthy sticking to the surface
of what may be a good day turned sour.
just another way
of saying, been there,
done with that.