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August 18, 2017


 Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

Proudly Presents



Making Peace With Dementia
Remembrance Of Things Present: Making Peace With Dementia by Peter Maeck

The experience of writing a poem, play, or story, or creating a photograph, is like riding a train through wonderful, unexpected scenery. When I wake up in the morning I hurry to get to work because I never want to miss that train. My train derailed the morning of my father's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Dad hadn't chosen a trip into dementia but here he was on track to forget his friends, his family, and even his own name.
I tempered my shock by denying that this was a tragic turn of events. I figured Dad would be freed from all past doubts and guilt, he’d live in a blissful Here and Now, and his future would be an open book. Dementia wasn't a curse, it was a gift!
Oh, come on, I chided myself – a gift
What gift takes away all we’ve treasured in life,
Erases our husband and blots out our wife,
Makes the children we’ve raised and protected from dangers
Come before us not loved ones but absolute strangers?
The Kübler-Ross model says denial is the first of the five stages of grief. But while denying my father's affliction, I worried for myself: Was dementia in the blood? Would I someday lose my own memory? And wasn't losing my father a worry enough in itself? Dad told me to stay calm, the decline would be gradual, and maybe some good might come from this. What good, I wondered, could come from shock, grief, and despair?
Give us this day, and our daily bread, too,
But don’t make believe that the world’s born anew
Every morning, it’s not, we’re just one whole day older.
Wiser, we hope, and stronger and bolder.
Than what, though? Than yesterday? That we can’t answer,
Except to affirm that dementia’s a cancer
Which kills off our knowledge of which is more rotten:
A bad day remembered or one that’s forgotten.
As if to compensate for my father’s fading memory, my own memory became more acute. As Dad shed future considerations, I projected further ahead. Then I realized that all my forward and backward looking was pushing me away from my father; thus I had to meet him where he was increasingly living: in a constant present tense. As I did this, Dad and I moved from a prose relationship into one of poetry, less literal and more metaphorical, where we engaged more in rhyme than in reason, freezing time initially but then melting it and coming together in a lyrical realm between what had gone before and what was yet to be.
What good can come from a terrible affliction? What follows the Kübler-Ross stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression? For me it was a revelation that dementia’s grip is loosened by the power of poetry, pictures, music, and love. For my father it was an even tenderer and more profound relationship with his family. I wrote Remembrance of Things Present – Making Peace with Dementia to celebrate my father's brave, good-humored journey through Alzheimer's, and to show how such an affliction can actually draw loved ones closer together instead of driving them apart.
 Caring for an aging father diagnosed with Alzheimer's exposes a multitude of experiences and feelings. Writer and photographer Peter Maeck approached this extremely difficult time of life with extraordinary mindfulness and compassion. Using the language of his craft, Maeck observed that he and his father "moved from a prose relationship into one of poetry . . . less literal and more metaphorical . . . engaging more in rhyme than in reason." Remembrance of Things Present is an important book for our time as dementia nears epidemic proportions; it is wisdom gleaned from facing one of life's most horrific afflictions with word, image, and love


Peter Maeck is a poet, playwright, and photographer whose work has been produced and exhibited both in the United States and internationally. He served as a U.S. State Department American Cultural Specialist in Tanzania and Morocco, and he has created training programs for major U.S. corporations. He holds a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brandeis University. He has presented "Remembrance of Things Present" as a TEDx Talk in the U.S. and abroad.  AUTHOR'S WEBSITE
YOU TUBE  - Book "REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PRESENT – Making Peace with Dementia" about father's Alzheimer's.   PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE

1 comment:

Virtual Author Book Tours said...

Thanks for hosting Peter!