With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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James Hillman’s essay “Memory: Short-Term Loss, Long-Term Gain” [The Dog-Eared Page, February 2022] freed me from a load of shame. I turned eighty last September, and my short-term memory has been losing ground since I was fifty. I feel humiliated when I can’t find the word I need or recall a person’s name. It’s so embarrassing that I’ve been tempted to stop talking to people altogether. But after reading Hillman’s thoughts on the matter, I have a softer outlook on what’s happening to me. I’m preparing to die — in a few years — and my brain is treating me to one last round of memories of the people and places I didn’t know how to cherish sixty or seventy years ago.
I am seventy-two years old. In American society I am considered ancient, forgetful, and irrelevant. James Hillman’s essay “Memory: Short-Term Loss, Long-Term Gain” [The Dog-Eared Page, February 2022] restored my faith in myself and showed me the beauty of reminiscence. I am grateful to Hillman for confirming the value and wisdom of the memories I now recall with both joy and sorrow.