May 29, 2014


Did you see the segment on 60 Minutes a few years back with the handful of people that are part of a study to understand their ability to remember every day of their lives.  Lesley Stahl did the piece. You can Google CBS NEWS The Gift of Endless Memory and watch.  This past year CBS did an update and now young children ages, 11 and 12 have come forward and are part of the studies. 

If you could remember the details of everyday of your life, would you like to have this ability ?  E V E R Y  D A Y - all the details.  

The ability perhaps a fascinating burden to live with and certainly the ability to do this would have to be managed.  And to think we all have the memories in our brains.  The studies these people are participating in are focused on identifying and understanding their ability to "retrieve" the memories, something that only a handful of people can do.  

There is power and prejudice in details. 

There is too much, too little, significant, insignificant, minute, gigantic, everyday, once in a blue moon. Details can often connect dots and many times they can get in the way of connections. Details can be truths and they can be made up lies, they can cause great benefit and great harm.  

Details: TO BE OR NOT TO BE -  It all depends on our perspective, our ability to see, to want to see, to recognize.  Our ability to manage details, our wants, needs, our "must have" details vs. "nice to have" and finally our DNA, are we wired to run with details or to shy away and hide and/or ignore them. 

Two days ago I walked by this bus stop sign while walking Maddie and Morgan.  This is the curb in front of the Scott Candler Water Filtration Plant which borders the Winterven subdivision. 

In 8+ years of walking the girls, we've turned around at this sign hundreds and hundreds of times to head back home.  On Tuesday I noticed the small BUS STOP metal plate added with the words BUS STOP in braille.  Not sure when this was added, the tiny plate does not have any wear from the elements. Certainly it is a recent addition. 

The sighting of this plate made me think immediately of years ago when I was a student at CSUN, California State University of Northridge in the San Fernando Valley in CA, north of Los Angeles. There was a blind person in the apartment next to where I lived and I often followed him to and from school.  And I mean at least 2 or 3 times a week for 2 or 3 years. 

I would always stay 20, 25 yards behind, I was fascinated to watch him maneuver the major street crossing on Reseda Boulevard. He negotiated all the curbs, the noises, the traffic, the additional street crossings when we go to campus.  Never a fall, never a complaint.  

I wish I would have offered this person a greeting or an introduction.  I am not sure what held me back, fear or complete awe of watching him successfully manage the world. 

His details radically different than mine. I imagine he knew the exact number of footsteps to get to campus. He could probably discern the brakes on a public transportation bus, vs. the brakes on a school bus. 

I know he could tell when the 7 Eleven at the corner was busier than the Falafel joint by the cadence  of their doors swinging wide open. And I am certain he heard melodies in the wind that I never imagined.  

This past Tuesday the metal BUS STOP sign with raised braille dots made me think of this man that I admired from afar. 

I hope he is doing well today.