Monday, October 23, 2006


There is nothing that puzzles me as much as ‘amnesia’. Not the partial amnesia where after a trauma, an individual wakes up and discovers interim gaps in memory or faltering failures to recognize familiar faces. That happens to me without amnesia. I forget names, faces, what I did yesterday or even this morning. But that is not what puzzles me. What puzzles me is those victims of amnesia that every once in a while are discovered in places far from home with no memory of name, address, who they are, or how they got there.

Recently a victim of this kind of amnesia was discovered in the States. He is a Canadian with complete and total amnesia. With no name, no past, no former life. Medical officials have verified that. Yet when interviewed on TV he reminisced about how lonely he was, how lost, how isolated. And that is the part that puzzles me.

If I suddenly were to find myself in a strange place, without any memory of home, how could I long for that which is no longer resident in my mind? You see, when I forget I had a thing, when it goes astray, I neither miss nor search for it. So without any memory of friends, how could one feel lonely? It’s as impossible for me to grasp as a search for shadows in a world without light.

But just because it is beyond my limited understanding does not mean it isn’t so. If anything, this lack of understanding on my part, the impossibility of a situation that to me is akin to a world of shadows without light, rouses more sympathy than it would if I fully understood it.


Anonymous Esther said...

I always wonder and am suspicious about those who claim amnesia, yet seem to remember the other things in life, like how to tie a shoe, or drive a car.

It is very selective and convenient, this amnesia and I guess if I wanted to get out of a bad siuation, that might be my plan...

4:13 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

My natural forgetfulness causes me enough problems I wouldn't want to attempt to play that kind of game. But you are quite right. I think some of my suspicions ring through what I have written.

1:43 AM  

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