|Australian author |
What We Remember
What if everything that had happened in your life was suddenly wiped out? Literally, through a case of amnesia, or figuratively, if you found out something you valued was a lie?
I’ve thought about this a lot. While watching the news, I’ll see the wife of a politician who couldn’t keep it in his pants, or an ex-cult member escaping a life she was born into and think … how do you go on now?
Who are we without our fundamental beliefs, beliefs created over a lifetime?
A few years ago, my friend’s father had what their family now calls an ‘episode.’ His assistant found him wandering around the office, disoriented and agitated. When his family arrived and tried speaking to him, he asked them: “What day is it?”
“Tuesday, dad,” they told him.
“Tuesday,” he repeated, frowning deeply. “Did I play golf this morning?”
“Yes.” A coy smile. “How’d I play?”
It was funny, the first time. But over the next twelve hours they had the same conversation a hundred times. Verbatim. Same deep frown, same coy smile.
My friend’s father’s ‘episode’ was Global Transient Amnesia. Thankfully, the transient part meant that by the next day, he was back to normal.
The interesting part for me was that for twenty-four hours, his short-term memory was less than a minute long. Yet, every time he asked the same series of questions. The exact same series. It spoke to me about memory and its role in who we are. It led me to wonder if maybe, memory isn’t as important as we think.
|The Things We Keep|
by Sally Hepworth
published January 2016
Each woman is faced with a reality she didn’t expect. And with nothing but unreliable memories to lean on, Anna, Eve and Clementine are going to find out who they are and what they stand for.
What about you? If you lost your memory, do you think you would you be the same? And what conversation would you be having over and over?