|your neurons at work: beauty in the brain|
First let's all say it the right way. All-Zime-ers. Not All-time-ers. Not Old timers.
The Alzheimer’s unit isn’t as depressing as it used to be. At one time I was acutely aware of the empty spaces in faces hit hard by dementia. Now I “see slant,” and am amazed at the determination of our species to survive, to nurture, to find pleasure. Today a woman nearby sat in her wheelchair: catheter draining urine, loose skin hanging from a bony frame. She held a doll up to her face and gazed lovingly at …surely not a doll but a real child who was smiling back, making little noises and flirting with her as babes do with their mothers. She was with that baby and kissed it and spoke to it in the few words she had left in Broca’s region of the brain. Love poured out like a furnace and I was warmed even across the room. Soon someone took the doll and wheeled the woman to her room for a nap. She didn’t cry. She had already lost her children to time but loss wasn’t going to be her recurring theme. Only love.