There is a link between the ability to remember the past and the ability to imagine the future. People who struggle to recall their past with any clarity or detail also tend to have difficulty envisioning fleshed out future scenarios.
Fresh snow in a garbage can conceals all waste.
His eyes dart to the clock or stare past my shoulder at the wall; you're done existing for me now, they seem to say.
Raw knuckles and the dust of snow on rooftops. It's cold again.
At dinner after a long day the conversation is full of welcome nonsense.
Seven years ago, at age 53, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He's physically fit, still jogs on familiar paths around his home, his cheeks flushed and his complexion healthy. You need to keep moving, he says, or else you die. There are many things he can't do anymore without guidance and supervision, like making a cup of tea or even setting the table for dinner, but his wife keeps pushing him to do as much as he can for himself - she says she's not going to let him go so quickly. He pauses at the dining room wall, thinks a photo of his son is himself at that age. His wife corrects him. Outside, resting after his run, he says you have to keep going and not think about the future. He can't think about the past either. Lost and optimistic, he jogs on clean beautiful paths in the countryside.
I prepare several topics to cover and questions to ask, but there's only so much you can plan when teaching. When it goes well, when you and the students are alive to each other and interested in the discussion, fresh connections form between facts that seemed unrelated, new ideas emerge to be refined or torn down, and everyone sings a little with a spark of inspiration.