Memory Lost and Memory Saved

 Memory...something that I have been thinking more about lately as I visit mom, whose memory of recent events has dramatically diminished and whose memory of distant past has crept into the present with little separation between the two. Past and present have become one for her. But the past is dominant, alive, current, devouring the less powerful present, subsuming it. I try to be present with mom in the time that we have together, not too worried about what the near future will bring for her. Not anticipating and experiencing loss before it happens.

My artwork has relied on distant memories mixed with present moments for years now. Though in saying that, as I address those current moments in my works they become recent past and then more distant. Time cannot afterall be captured and preserved in a shadow box. But the ideas, fleeting images or impressions can.

I have noticed another change in my work now that I have something to lose, that I willfully fight off fear or uncertainty about future loss. When making work in the studio, when spending time with my mother or with my wife or dear friends, I need to work to be present, joyful, grateful for the time that we have together. We can acknowledge that our time here is fleeting in the big picture. But gratitude for having even a fleeting moment is the appropriate response to such realizations.