Photographs by May Taybi
I work four mornings a week at an adult enrichment center. We offer stimulation and community for people with dementia and moderate Alzheimer’s, and a respite for their caregivers. Aging can be unforgiving and there’s nothing better than looking at those on the front lines to make you think about what’s around the corner. It has a way of focusing your attention on retirement funds and living in the present and taking better care of yourself.
I can only imagine what it’s like to be trapped in a thin slice of time without your memories as a soft cocoon around you. To know that you have a daughter but not remember her name.
I came across this poem in The Spectator today that meshes with thoughts of impermanence.
Well, I am thinking this may be my last
summer, but cannot lose even a part
of pleasure in the old-fashioned art of
idleness. I cannot stand aghast
at whatever doom hovers in the background;
while grass and buildings and the somnolent river,
who know they are allowed to last forever,
exchange between them the whole subdued sound
of this hot time. What sudden fearful fate
can deter my shade wandering next year
from a return? Whistle and I will hear
and come another evening, when this boat
travels with you alone towards Iffley:
as you lie looking up for thunder again,
this cool touch does not betoken rain;
it is my spirit that kisses your mouth lightly.
by Keith Douglas