The Powerlessness of Now

Deborah Wearing‘s story is so powerful that my goosebumps cried when I read it. Her husband, Clive, lost his memory after contracting a virus that destroyed parts of his brain. He only ever lives in the now without a working memory of anything that happened before him. Not unlike Alzheimer’s patients whose hippocampus responsible for learning and long-term memory malfunctions, he can’t remember what happened just three minutes prior. Miraculously, he remembers his wife and delights each time he sees her. Since 1985 he has lived this way. Deborah divorced him, then remarried him about a decade later. After twenty-five years, he has been able to condition himself to understand his situation. His life is an example of how powerless always being in the now can be.

While Eckhart Tolle rightfully suggests we embrace the Power of Now, it is based on the assumption that we have a past and, most likely, a future to which we can refer as we navigate through life. We are human beings with a history. It is what makes us become embedded in this thing called time.

Imagine not having time as friend? Imagine living in an ever timeless state! It is stories like these that remind us how powerful time can be for us. It gives us a semblence of structure. It is the safety net that lets us know where we are, even if we feel lost.

Time is by our side. Clive’s wife is by his. It is a story of true love and of what it means to be a time translator for those to whom time means nothing.


  1. Willow Drinkwater

    March 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

    That was the tragedy of GROUND HOG DAY, the movie..he was living with a past, knowing each future day he was dealing with people living in the now of February 2nd. What a special person his wife must be.

    1. powerofslow

      March 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Indeed, some of us do live as though the past is in the now!

Leave a Reply