The Forgetting

Ginny Schmidt

St. Petersburg, United States

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Artist's Description

I created this from scratch in Photoshop a while back. It got out of control and became an ugly mess that I didn’t really know what to do with; however, something prevented me from deleting it, something disturbing but compelling at the same time. Then I watched a documentary about Alzheimer’s Disease, and it was pretty scary. When I opened this picture again just now, I thought that it suggested the tangled interior landscape of a disappearing brain. It isn’t pretty — it isn’t meant to be. This is a problem, folks. It requires attention.

Some advice for anyone caring for a family member in an advanced stage of this disease: Do not get upset when they don’t recognize you — if daddy doesn’t know his little princess, or mom thinks her son’s face reminds her of someone from long ago. Do not try to “jog” their memory; it simply isn’t there anymore, and getting upset is an exercise in futility — this isn’t about you now, so smile and put your ego aside. Your loved ones may not know who you are, but they will ALWAYS know exactly how you make them feel.

I could go on, but nobody could put the situation in such poignant perspective as Shakespeare, whose King Lear lamented:

Does any here know me? This is not Lear.
Does Lear walk thus, speak thus? Where are his eyes?
Either his notion weakens, his discernings
Are lethargied — Ha! Waking? ’Tis not so.
Who is it that can tell me who I am?

Artwork Comments

  • Ruth Palmer
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  • jlynn
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  • Oncemore
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