Tapestry is a song I’ve hoped for many years would happen. The original idea has been kicking around quite some time and it has been a continuous work in progress. Writing, re-writing, editing, more editing. Changing the chord and song structure as the lyrics changed. Putting it down for a while, picking it back up and coaxing it to reveal itself time and again. All the while new life experiences weaving their way into the fabric of the song. (Pun may or not be intended). 

I have a terrible memory. I have had a terrible memory as long as I can remember. I know this about myself and I find it troubling enough to alternately ignore and deflect with humor. The story I tell myself is this condition is a consequence of my excesses. Some of the biggest holes in my memory coincide with times when I was drinking heaviest. “The missing years.” I have a good friend with whom I shared many an exploit during those times and later when he would say “Do you remember…” my standard response became “If you say so.” I’ve done my best to cover it up. 

Whenever someone says “Do you remember when?” 

I just smile and nod, try a little laugh 

Alter my response 

Refrain from using names I don’t recall 

I’ve long been enamored with the metaphor that our past, and our memory of it, is like a tapestry. Still in process, new sections being added sure, but complete for the moment in any given moment, if only for that moment. Our ability to recall is not permanent, and our memories themselves are in constant flux. Changing over time and often dimming with age. 

Like a tapestry in the sun colors have begun to fade 

One aspect of a poor memory is the constant potential for the rewriting of my personal narrative. Sometimes filling in missing blanks, sometimes correcting false memory. Like the day I discovered someone I’d thought had died back when we were teenagers was in fact very much alive. There is a chance I may have killed him off in my mind due to his being the principle actor in a highly traumatic (for me, not him) event in my life, but in the end it doesn’t matter. My past isn’t changed by his existence or not after that event. Truth is most memory course corrections are not dramatic, and as such are not even necessarily noticed. 

Learning little truths is like finding four dollars 

In the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in two years 

It’s a nice surprise 

Hardly worth the time I’m gonna keep them 

I do wish I had a better memory, and it’s nice to sit with good ones even for a short time. But even if my power of recall was robust, there is no guarantee it would last. 

A tapestry on the wall will fray and fall 


One of my biggest fears about aging is developing dementia or otherwise losing my mental faculties. My paternal grandmother had it and lived many lonely years unaware of anything at all, let alone her past. My father in his later years showed signs of it. Some of his condition was a side effect of the mix of medications he was on. After a specialist stepped in and cleaned up his regimen the symptoms receded and he wasn’t aware it had happened. I am not convinced that he wasn’t headed down that path anyway, the signs were there. With that family history, and my already questionable memory I am concerned. I’m equally concerned about the effect it would have on those around me, particularly Cyndi. We’ve promised each other we’re in this for the long haul, no matter what. It might be beautiful. It might be something else. 

You said I will be right here to keep you off the ledge 

That’s before we knew I wasn’t coming back 

The twilight of our years 

Hand in hand on different paths 

What scares me more than losing lucidity however, is the idea of being on that road and knowing it. To be aware of a declining mental state and the inevitable outcome isn’t something I covet. 

I see the ocean 

Not each water drop 

Here on the shoreline 

I only see the top 

I can only hope I would have the will to fight it off as long as possible before the oblivion of whatever is on the other side of that line. 

Watching all the waves spill their grains of sand 

Why not melt them down, turn them into glass 

Replace the tapestry with a window pane 

Fill our pockets full of stones waiting for the day 

To smash the pane away 

Smash it away 

Smash the pain away

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