“People’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories; there’s no distinction — they’re all just fuel.” ––Haruki Murakami, “After Dark”
One of my favorite singers, Wes Eisold of the modern-day goth band Cold Cave, posted this quote by Haruki Murakami recently. It’s been on my mind ever since as I often think about my fight for life.
Fifty-three days in a hospital bed where I never had the strength to even take a single shower in that time. The use of high-flow oxygen and high-powered drugs helped keep me alive. But my positivity, patience, zero fear, and my quest to keep the negativity away also helped me to survive.
When I think about this quote, it helps me recognize what a strong part my memories played in living.
I heard from dozens of people during this saga. Many of them I was reconnecting with for the first time in many years. The common thread to all these conversations was that we talked about things that had happened in the past. Good times, bad times, times I felt the need to apologize for; it didn’t matter as the memories were keeping me moving forward. I thought of things I hadn’t thought of in decades. I’m sure it often made no sense why I was even bringing some of these memories up.
Music was the center point of my survival. I literally listened to music non-stop the entire time I was hospitalized. For years, I have said that music is my therapy, and I’ve heard it said that music is one of the keys to
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