Body Memory

As I have often heard, “life is a bitch and then you die”. On the whole, I subscribe to that theory. I have never been a full life advocate myself, not because I don’t want it or because I have suicidal tendencies, but because I do think there is more harm than good to be had by most. If you cannot be happy, why bother pretending that life is amazing?

No, life is not amazing. Actually, for most people on planet earth, it will fall somewhere between reasonable poverty and abject torture. I consider myself to belong to neither group, yet I am not blind. I see life for what it is. It gives you a lot, but it also takes a lot away from you. There is no logic to it, and luck plays as much of a role as talent. Once you know that and you come to terms with that, the rest is just letting it be.

As we grow older — I hate to admit it — a lot of what we had taken for granted leaves us. The departure is gradual, as is aging, but it does leave a mark early in the game if you can see it. The bed you are sufficiently healthy to make for yourself today may be a bed you will need help to get made in a decade or longer. You may age to be self-sufficient into your eighties and nineties, if life allows. Or you may not. There is no correlation that you can use to provide you full guarantee of that lasting self-sufficiency. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made an amazing run and taken good care of yourself or you have been sloppy and abandoned all hope.

One of the assets that departs is our memory. First, we lose names. We don’t have much to tie our mind to when it comes to names. John, Lisa, Pedro can be all the same with no anchor but an elusive face. Then we lose the memory of what has been told us or what we have told others. Did I really tell you this story before? I would have sworn I hadn’t.

But there is a memory that never leaves, at least as I’m experiencing it. The body remembers. Emotions are tough to let go of, particularly when you have been hurt beyond reason. It doesn’t matter if your mind has already decided you are strong enough to cross that bridge and override the memory. Your body will remember…and you won’t want to speak to that person or make that phone call. Something in your stomach, in your heart, will turn. If you have invested so much of your love in him or her, it will be painfully obvious that your body remembers, even when your mind has made it a point to forget.

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