Saturday, February 18, 2006

Remembering the Future

The author, Sam Keen, told of an incident that happened to him one Saturday afternoon. He was constructing a fence around his backyard when a man in his early thirties came by with his dog. Watching the construction he asked if he could help. He explained that he loved to work with wood and that he had little to do with his time. Sam Keen accepted his offer but before he could tell him when he would next be working the man interrupted him and said: "There's something I must tell you now while I remember it. If I wait it may be too late..."

He went on to explain that several years earlier he'd been injured in an accident in which a small piece of metal had pierced that section of the brain which stores and controls the memory. Somehow he survived and the long road to rehabilitation began. He'd learned to talk again with scarcely any impediment. But he still had no control over his memory. Lacking a dependable memory he couldn't hold down a job or plan for the future in spite of his technical intelligence being largely unimpaired.

Sam Keen said, "I listened to his story with a growing sense of tragedy. We planned to meet on the following Monday and work on the fence together.... but he never appeared."

Memory is such a precious gift. Without it we are prisoners to the present. We are cut off from the past and held back from the future. Yet, when our memories are sensitised to remember those things which are good and true— we are inspired. We are energised to live into our future. This is part of the challenge and the gift of remembering the future.

Geoff Pound

Image: Sam Keen

Source: [One of Keen’s books or lectures. My memory fails me! GP]