Awareness and Amnesia

There are many of us who try hard to live being mindful, to live for the now, following the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. It’s not easy and most days I for one feel that I haven’t achieved the awareness and mindfulness that I would have liked.

Eating mindfully, walking mindfully – it’s harder than I originally thought it would be, but I’ll keep trying.

There are some people who can only live in the ‘now’ because for them their past is a memory that escapes them completely. Others have short term memory loss and yet the past is crystal clear.

As we get older we struggle at times to remember names of places, people, things. That’s not unusual and nor is it particularly worrying as we have amassed a tremendous amount of information over the years and if we see it like a shelf full of books or a desk full of papers – we can’t expect to retrieve the one we’re looking for immediately.

When I wrote the following poem, I had in mind someone who had sadly lost all memory of their past .

I Am Amnesia

I have no memory

I live for the present

I can read

but when did I learn to read,

where did I go to school,

where was I born?

I see myself in the mirror

I see who I am now

but who was I ?

Where did I live as a child,

who were my parents,

did I have siblings?

I have no memory

I have no past

I live in the now.

I am an empty slate,

a frame with no picture,

a book with blank pages.

I have no story,

I have no history

but I can write.

Can I see my future,

can I rebuild my past,

will I remember?


Author: annedunford

Now fulfilling my ten year old self's ambition to become a writer - it's taken many years and a long,long winding road to get here! After a lifetime spent teaching, making miniature ceramics, returning to teaching and training, I am now indulging in a lifelong ambition to write!

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