Temendia absorbs me. No there. No here. No then. And, as a result, no real sense of now. I arrive, take care of things as best I can, try to retrieve and sustain for a few moments an echo of the past, and then leave. But I do not leave, for there is no there to leave. Leaving implies the possibility of return, but here is only recurrence without return. I have left the path without wandering from it. I continue on it, but without a destination. I can no longer imagine the course of this journey. Only now do I realize I am missing a shoe.
Spending 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.
At the end of the first part of Truth and Method, Hans-Georg Gadamer writes:
To reach an understanding with one’s partner in a dialogue is not merely a matter of total self-expression and the successful assertion of one’s own point of view, but a transformation into a communion, in which we do not remain what we were.
It seems a fitting thought with which to begin this blog.