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The Red Dress

Maybe I should clarify a few points – I am not against medication when it helps people to be more independent or when it relieves pain. I am not against a diagnosis when there is a need for a medical intervention. Or against therapeutic interventions.

I do take a strong stand against reducing a person living with forgetfulness to a medical phenomenon. When everything about that person is reduced to “the symptoms of dementia” as if the person has disappeared within the syndrome. I also take a strong stand against the scientific approach – that everything can be explained in scientific research, that we are “merely” the sum total of a few organs, nervous systems and a brain.

Our humanness is as magni cent and as complex as the universe itself. The more scientists kick and scream against the mystic the more we will nd people being treated like slabs of meat. (And no, I am not against scientific research or the immense knowledge gained through scientific research).

This is not about a belief system, spirituality or a new religious order – it has nothing to do with a god who sits somewhere up above dishing out divine favours, or not. For me, it is all about our connectedness – becoming more and more of our being part of a greater cosmos, a greater knowing. The more we become aware of this connectedness, the more we will respect each other, nature, and our natural resources. It asks us to stand still, to look up at the sky, to see the ants at their business, the season changing and the halo around the moon. It is not about doing something or going somewhere to find that something. It is about being present.

This is the point of departure – affording each other our presence. I am a big rib-crushing hugger. It is amazing how some people can melt into a hug, and others scramble like a trapped rat to get away from it. We are not all the same, not everyone likes being hugged, blablabla. I know. I am just aware of how people consciously can detach from intimacy, from being held, from holding. This detachment can become a way of being, and can eventually affect our connectedness to each other, the environment, and eventually to our own Self.

If there is any advice I can give, it is to learn to connect. Listen to your Self, be still. Walk barefoot. Lie on your back on the ground looking at the clouds or the stars.

Work the earth. Feel the sun or the wind or the rain on your face. Stop trying to figure everything out and be present.

Herein lies the mystical being-in-the-world. You will nd serendipity and synchronicity, you will feel in tune with the ebb and ow of Life’s rhythm. And you will be content.

A friend tells me the most beautiful little story about her Mom who has been living with forgetfulness for many years. On one of her visits, her Mom was dressed in all red – everything! She asked her why she was wearing everything in red, and was told after a long pause: “So that I can see myself better”. Be significant. Dress in red – see your Self, especially if you are living with forgetfulness – never allow the world to lose sight of your Self. Stay conscious.

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