Friday, September 7, 2007

If I Only Had a Brain (The Scarecrow)

One of the worst parts of getting older/menopause is failing memory - I'm so tired of re-tracing my steps to remember exactly why I came into a room/opened a closet/went outside. I've become the Queen of Post-It Notes/small spiral-bound books/scribbled lists - if I write it down somewhere, it has a better chance of surfacing later in my brain. Of course, remembering to read the notes/books/lists helps too - ack!

I used to joke that I have no memory because all my gray matter is full of song lyrics - not so funny anymore...

Speaking of... I'm fond of quoting these Ani DiFranco lines - ever since Finding Nemo came out, they now remind me of Dory... :-)

they say goldfish have no memory
i guess their lives are much like mine
the little plastic castle
is a surprise every time

POEM: Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses good-bye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

QUOTE: "Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory." ~ Albert Schweitzer

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