Losing your head … and trying to keep it

lost_head_snipSpending the past couple of days immersed, once more, in the world of dementia — experiencing it in some ways vicariously but in other ways in the first person. It is inaccurate to think of those suffering from dementia as ‘demented’.  The suffering, even at very advanced stages, is a way of life associated with fragmentation of memory.  Memory allows the past to cohere with the present.  The continuous flow of memory that most of us take for granted enables the imagination which connects our present with our possible futures.  Without memory and imagination, the ongoing flow of experience — life itself — becomes a baffling sequence of events: a perpetual uneasy, half-conscious sense of being interrupted while in the middle of some urgent task … but what, exactly, you cannot say.