Amazon.com Widgets

 

Katie van Schaijik

Memory and identity

Jan. 10 at 8:26am

Facebook friend, Patrick, links today a beautiful and moving reflection about growing older, by Fr. Patrick Hannon.  It's funny and thoughtful and deeply human.  Also personalistic.  He writes about his fear of losing his memory, which he supposes would be like losing his self.

Memories allow me to believe — humbly, fervently — that I am in no small way important, that my little life has meaning, that I am part of a grand story, that I am an actor — leading, supporting or otherwise — on an impressive stage. Memories, these enduring imprints of faces and places and fragrances and melodies and textures and tastes, stand prepared to remind us that we are human persons, each of us with a compelling story to tell. And yet I have this gnawing feeling that I have sprung a leak and that slowly, one by one, my memories are dripping out of me. First I forget names, then places, then faces, then myself. I shudder at the thought.

Do yourself the favor of reading the whole thing.  


 

Jules van Schaijik

Beautiful story.

I wonder about my own loss (or lack) of memory sometimes. Often it is a just an inconvenience or an embarrassment. But sometimes, as when I try to recall and relate my childhood, teenage years, or courtship days, I experience it more like a loss of self.

Sometimes I also wonder how much of it is my own responsibility. Would I remember more, and remember more clearly, if I lived a better, more deliberate and reflective life? I'm afraid so.

#1 - Jan. 10 at 8:24pm | quote

 

Jules van Schaijik

The article also brought to mind the quote that Rick Santorum used the other day, in his Iowa speech, to thank and pay tribute to his wife:

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

#2 - Jan. 10 at 8:38pm | quote

 

To comment, please sign in or register first. (It's free and easy, and helps us prevent spam.)

 

Stay informed

Latest comments

  • Re: "Soft Addictions"
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: Truth and mercy in human experience
  • By: Marie Meaney
  • Re: Becoming Who You Are, Even If You're Not Sure Who That Is
  • By: Devra Torres
  • Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About
  • By: Marie Meaney
  • Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About
  • By: Katie van Schaijik
  • Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About
  • By: Kate Whittaker Cousino
  • Re: Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles
  • By: Ian Skemp
  • Re: Pitfalls of Asserting Gender Roles
  • By: Ian Skemp

Latest active posts

Reading circles

Lectures