Remembering

Today I sat next to an aging saint in an Alzheimer's Care Unit, there just happened to be a concert by a pianist & flutist. The residents listened and smiled but then the duo played, Ave Maria, and things changed. The gentleman to my left slowly tapped his foot and a lady to the right of me began to hum along; the lady I came to see began to rock ever so gently from side to side.

I've always found it interesting what we choose to remember in life- the songs and the stories, and more telling what we choose to forget- the pains. But somewhere in the minds of these people whose minds are elsewhere, a memory was triggered- that just for a moment brought all of us together. No disease, no lost memories- just a community living in the present, however fleeting the present may be. That's the transcendent beauty of music, a beauty that bridges time and connect us all. It seems to me it's a similar thing with religion.

To those of us who are religious, deep inside there's a sense of God's spirit which sometimes gets lost in our daily lives of virtual insanity. In our metaphorical world of Alzheimer's we forget who we are, we forget our roots, we struggle in life and just can't seem to remember... anything. It's all we can do to just get through the moment. If we're lucky, every now and then we remember. Someone says something, we hear "that hymn", we see an intentional act of kindness or we hear that story of transformative love and, if just for a moment, we move and we feel, we remember, we are whole once again. That's religion at its best.

I hope you find that music, your music that helps you to remember.