Sky_unraveled I included this haunting and beautiful poem in Life is a Verb. It was written by a man who began losing his memory in a form of dementia when he was just 41 years old, ten years ago.

After I wrote to him asking for permission to include it, we corresponded over a period of time, his emails giving me great insight into what it is to feel your life and memories unravel before your eyes, and at such a young, young age. I sent him a copy of Life is a Verb when it came out. His email back to me stopped me cold–he couldn't remember having corresponded about the poem so he had no idea why I sent him the book until his wife came home and put the pieces together, reminding him that we had talked about it.

We are blessed that he continued to write poetry in the now, as the fabric of his life disintegrated and changed dramatically and was re-stitched into a different pattern. That poet, David Hollies, died this past weekend. My thanks to a friend of his for letting me know.

And so, to David, my thanks for giving me and others an insight into your journey:

Lost and Found

by David Hollies

The first few times
Being lost was frightening
Stark, pregnant
With the drama of change
Then, I didn't know
That everywhere is nowhere
Like the feeling when a ocean wave
Boils you in the sand
But as time goes by
Each occurrence of lostness is quieter
Falling from notice
Like the sound of trains
When you live near the tracks
Until one day
When a friend asks
"How often do you get lost?"
And I strain to recall a single instance
It was then that I realized
Being lost only has meaning
When contrasted with
Knowing where you are
A presumption that slipped out of my life
As quietly as smoke up a chimney
For now I live in a less anchored place
Where being lost is irrelevant
For now, only when there is a need
Do I discover where I am
No alarm, no fear
Just an unconscious check-in
Like glancing in the rear-view mirror.

“Being lost,” as he says, “only has meaning when contrasted with knowing where you are.”

[Image from here]