15

Jangled Bells:
Meditations on Hamlet and the Power to Know

I am standing at the bottom of the stairs, my attention caught by a bookcase where I keep biographies and essay collections. The storage room door is open behind me; in the bathroom across the narrow hall I can hear clothes still spinning in the dryer. There is a small green light shining from the base of my computer in the den, and to my left a yowling Zeppo has just come into the bedroom through his cat door in search of food. I have absolutely no idea why I am standing here.

There is a novel in my hand, its pages folded around my index finger to mark the place where I stopped reading, so I didn't come downstairs to raid the bookcase. We have finished dinner, so I'm not after a can of soup or box of rice in the storage room. The laundry is not done yet, so I'm not here to fold clothes. I don't have to use the toilet. It's too early for bed and I don't feel sleepy; if I was headed for my den to write something down I have forgotten what it is.

Now what do I do?

It is not a question of being unable to make up my mind. Essentially, I don't know my own mind. This has become a familiar situation. I recognize the grim slowness of mind, the slow grinding

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In the Shadow of Memory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • In the Shadow of Memory *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • 1 - Gray Area *
  • 1 - Gray Area: Thinking with a Damaged Brain *
  • 2 - Wild in the Woods: Confessions of a Demented Man *
  • 3 - In the Shadow of Memory *
  • 4 - Reeling Through the World: Thoughts on the Loss of Balance *
  • 5 - Living Memory *
  • 2 - The Family Story *
  • 6 - The Painstaking Historian *
  • 7 - Zip *
  • 8 - Dating Slapsie *
  • 9 - The Family Story *
  • 10 - The Year of the 49-Star Flag *
  • 3 - A Measure of Acceptance *
  • 11 - Kismet *
  • 12 - Counteracting the Powers of Darkness *
  • 13 - What is This and What Do I Do with It? *
  • 14 - A Measure of Acceptance *
  • 15 - Jangled Bells: Meditations on Hamlet and the Power to Know *
  • 16 - The Watery Labyrinth 218
  • 17 - Tomorrow Will Be Today *
  • In the American Lives Series *
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