As I get older my lifestyle changes.
What I once took for granted, gradually vanishes from sight, or should I say from hearing.
Memory. All that remains to us as we get older is memory. We can no longer hear the music that marked our lives, except in memory. We can no longer enjoy the foods we once ate. The fragrance of freshly baked bread, the perfume of a bowl of golden quince, the Apples of the Hesperides. We can no longer run and jump, let alone get down on the floor to play with the dog or with a child unless there’s someone around to haul us up.
Music too becomes memory. Music and words. They all become phantoms of themselves.
My house once resounded with music all day long and I was fortunate in having a next-door neighbor who kept his windows open to share whatever I had put on the record player. For that was when you still had vinyl records and could even put more than one on to listen to as you did your daily chores and moved from one room to the next.
Music. Now all that remains for me is memory. The songs, the themes, all part of a larger world, are heard silently in my mind. Not abstract sounds but part of a tableau, bringing to mind not only the sounds but the where and when. Dvorak and Going Home, perhaps one of my first music memories when I was six, Claire de Lune a birthday present for my mother since it was her favorite, St. Matthew Passion synonymous with a deep-lasting love. The miracle of music, forever in my memory, though soundless to other ears.
I am fortunate in still being able to write, to use words, although not as easily as once. I have devoted friends who encourage me not to stop thinking. Who make me feel that I am still alive. Nothing can compare to that.
Yet to put it simply, memory is all we have and must cling to.
For we are human beings, creatures that have been engineered to look forward as well as to the past, and to remember.