Friday, April 5, 2013
anatomy of memory
When Tom was first diagnosed with this illness and we bought our place in Vermont, I decided that I would need a good counselor who understood the landscape of life threatening disease. Yesterday I went to see her as my first visit since coming home. We talked a good deal about grief and how it, in the beginning, is simultaneously a searing pain in your gut and a tidal wave just waiting to thrash your little boat of stability. What to do? In the course of the conversation we talked about how we remember and how we might act on those memories. Memory actually comes in two parts. The first is of course concrete artifacts such as my Tom's flannel shirt and his eye glasses but the second is more ephemeral and that has to do with legacy. Her question to me which is posted now where i can see it .. for today, how can I move his legacy forward. It can be little things such as brewing coffee just to smell it or it can be more philosophical such as responding to a situation differently. What would Tom do? The point is that intentionality of memory allows us to move forward without drowning in how adrift and rotten we might feel at any given time. So in that spirit I bravely planted lettuce. Today I will water it . Tom and i always managed to miss planting the "cold crops" but not this year.