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A Piece of My Mind
August 7, 2002

Uphill Falling

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(5):548. doi:10.1001/jama.288.5.548

"Look, Ma!" wasn't going to come out ahead. A little ice, flat light, and some steep moguls weren't going to beat me: I'd been skiing for 40 years and could handle anything this silly mountain could throw my way. Stepping off the mogul and turning to the right, I suddenly realized I was falling through space, minus one ski.

One of the earliest of memories. Late fall 1963, sitting on the floor in front of a small black-and-white TV screen, watching an open car drive down the street on a sunny day. Then crying people and an airplane landing somewhere, at night, and a box being taken off the airplane and images of a pretty woman, close to my mother's age, crying. "Why can't we simply turn time backward," I asked her, "like in those books you read to me at night?" And I dreamt that I could do so—and watched myself rush off a grassy knoll to push a handsome head out of harm's way.