Memory Palace: iele paloumpis
November 8, 2016
Last April, a gay elder I didn’t know died of cancer. His far-away cousin hoped I’d accompany him as a doula in his final days. Neglected and abused in his nursing home, he had no nearby family or visitors and died before I could reach him.
I imagine him often.
“We are family,” as they say.
What happened to his blood and chosen families?
How many loved ones did he lose to AIDS or old age? His stories and theirs, gone.
For every person who dies alone, a keeper of memories, how many others die a second death of disappearance?
from Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now.
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Historically, the Memory Palace is a technique of memory recall often used by ancient Greek poets. By committing a location to memory, a poet could take an imaginary “walk” through this location, thereby recalling people, faces, events, and other memorial phenomena...This is an experiment to create a conversation, to collect what can be remembered at this particular intersection in time, to see what sort of architecture might hold what is inevitably left out. It is an unfinished building. –Will Rawls