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Category Archives: time and memory

In Memory of Einstein on the occasion of his 100th birthday

In my after life, my photon of light Chose space by a brilliant sun And danced a dance, A long long dance That was glorious, glorious fun – A poem by Gil Galloway in 1979 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Our love affair with life

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the

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Death stops time

In the June issue of Harper’s magazine, Geoff Dyer writes about the pictures photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews has taken of places where people died in World War I. Some are battlefields marked by graves or monuments. But they’re also of

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In the sunset of dissolution …

In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine. I don’t know why but a year or two ago, I copied this sentence in a notebook. It comes from “The Unbearable Lightness of

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Touching Each Other’s Lives

Act One Pearl Harbor was only two months away when a famous torch singer died in a New York City hospital. The singer was Helen Morgan; she died of cirrhosis of the liver; she had just turned 41. I was

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How do you want to live?

It wasn’t like me not to, but I never questioned why I wanted to drive across the country by myself at age 74. My friends thought I was crazy. That the trip was a journey into my past wasn’t surprising,

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A safe box for things

The Old Shrubsbury School House Museum, perhaps the most important character in my books, is a safe box for things. You go in; you live with them, even if for only a few minutes. You share in the pasts of

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In old age we fill whole eras

I remember when my friend Wes died in the ‘80s, that I was surprised by the feeling that my life had been extended, not into the future but into the past. He left behind diaries and memorabilia, beginning in the

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How old are you?

I have often noticed and sometimes remarked on how, as I age, my self-image is different from what I see in a mirror. I’m not sure if any of us ever manage to coordinate the two. We continue to see

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Memory and plagiarism

  Oliver Sacks writes eloquently about memory and imagination in the February 21 issue of the New York Review of Books, sharing his memory of a war-time event from his childhood and subsequently learning from his brother that he hadn’t

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