A world without memory is a world of the present. The past only exists in books, in documents. In order to know himself, each person carries his own ‘Book of Life,’ which is filled with the history of his life. By reading its pages daily, he can relearn… Without his Book of Life, a person is a snapshot, a two-dimensional image, a ghost. … Some pass the twilight hours at their tables reading from their Books of Life; others frantically fill its extra pages with the day events.
With time, each person’s ‘Book of Life’ thickens until it cannot be read in its entirety. Then comes a choice. Elderly men and women may read the early pages, to know themselves as youth; or they may read the end, to know themselves in later years.
Some have stopped reading altogether. They have abandoned the past. They have decided that it matters not if yesterday they were…. no more than it matters how a soft wind gets into their hair. ~A Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
In his 1991 file ‘Prospero’s Books’, a cinematic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, Peter Geenaway showed a series of exotic books that were kept in a library on a magical island and revealed just enough of their content to have me wishing the fantasy books were real. Among my favorites are ‘The Book of Colors,’ where “the pages cover the spectrum in finely differentiated shades…a ‘Book of Motion’ that describes, in animated illustrations, all possibilities for dance with the human body. ~J F Simon, Jr., Drawing Your Own Path
6 replies to “early morning readings”
I am told that in older people (of which I am one) and particularly the men (again of which when I last looks I am one) are either grumpy, child like or else humorously mischievous often disrupting. I am told that I am a mix of all 3 depending on the mood I wake up in! But as far as memory is concerned my mind is like a computers, it has a RAM. My mind is very random, access at times very haphazard and its is also over full of memories (sorry knowledge!) 🙂
David, I’m thinking that my mind is also very random and while I also struggle with access at times, it seems that memories bubble up from a source unknown to me.
The miracles of life unfold as one gets older…. who said they age of discovery was with the young. As I always tell my grandchildren….I have forgotten more that they know 🙂
And let’s not forget, there are those whose book of life has largely been lost to dementia, sadly
Yes, and what am I without my fading memories…more precious than money and fame. At my age, life is more about creating memories with others…to share.
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