Acts of Memory
Remember to stay conscious. Talk out loud to myself repeating the task I am about to do. Take a conscious decision to notice where I put an object down — my backpack, my phone, my cord for the computer. Whatever it is, find some way to hold one thread of thought in order to increase my chance of achieving the task without brain fog disruption.
Leonard Cohen says:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Say out loud what I am about to do. And keep saying it until I get to the task. Be very conscious of keeping stuff in the same place every single time without fail.
I’m developing routines (which throughout my life I have detested). But now I feel a real sense of freedom by not having to second guess, or to re-decide.
I want to start taking notice of what precedes memory lapses, what precedes getting out of routine, what precedes my level of tiredness.
Having a head cold for 2 weeks seriously increased my level of confusion.
Forgetting is not really scary at all. But what is scary are the regular confusions.
I don’t care that I can’t do numbers any more, or that it’s difficult to read the clock.
What I do care about is experimenting, discovering what works to reduce confusion.
I went to a couple of choir evenings, but it was a long train ride to get there and it was dark on the way home. I loved being amongst the other people, but the stress of getting there and back made me tired. I’m on the search for what is meaningful personally for me. My photography has been meaningful since I was a small girl. Sharing photos on my blog creates large smiles on my face.
I’m an introvert, so mingling socially with people does not necessarily make me feel enlivened. I truly have to take my time with finding what’s best for me socially. It’s difficult for me to have a guest at the house who talks a lot. I find it impossible to think while someone else is talking when I need to be concentrating on something like making food at the same time as somebody is talking.
It’s vital that I do not get tired as it means one or two days out of my life that my functioning is limited. That leads on to me feeling down. Fortunately that’s not very often.
I’m definitely not depressed, luckily. The psychiatrist said he’d only see me if I took anti depressants. I did take them for 6 months, but the psychiatrist had nothing significant to offer, that I was not already capable of and doing, so I stopped taking the anti depressants and I don’t feel any different. I’m definitely happy with how things are going.
I’ve always been a proactive optimistic person. I know this is in my favour. Before I was diagnosed with MCI, I was already someone who did whatever it took to be healthy both physically and psychologically.
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” —Leonard Cohen
These are the tears of ice melting
Melting away my father
Entrance way into a church at the back of the church
Dark stemmed flowers, the stalks are dark
It’s the passageway again at the back of the church. I remember Granddad occupied my dream after he died. I was guilty.
The support of the pillow
The warmth of the hottie
Letting go . . . ahhhhh
Not trying to make anything happen
Be with this moment
(Long sigh) Letting go of all the shoulds, of all the resentments, of all the harms
The tilt of the head
A chanel into the magnificent Corral — parking there over night
The lights coming through the cracks
Aeroplane flying over. Light shining through, as the plane goes over
Purple highlights on the left
Back in the Church
My body’s warming now
A small fluffy animal
A stylised rooster
Am I seeing on the right?
I found something there
It’s an English street
Old fashioned buildings
Dad on the left
Then I realised he wasn’t there
Curtains in the arch of the back of the church
The Baptist neighbour
Holding a cloud
The witch’s face
Big nose turned into bright light, bright shining light
I hear another aeroplane in the distance
Box of threads, needles, Mum
Handy sewing toolkit like daisies
Peter the red haired curly red haired Nigerian man in London
He gave me a name
He had a vision of who I was
His vision and metaphor was that I was someone who rode a horse bareback through fields of daisies
That’s me, he was right
I see a fence
Starting to breathe nicely now, deeply, easily
There’s a white man who’s appeared
I don’t know who he is
Now I see eyes
It morphed I couldn’t capture it
I shall sleep now.
These are the notes of vivid images and feelings when I had a Cold and Cough. I struggled sleeping so I let go and explored what I was sensing, seeing, feeling.
Today I felt a need to get fresh air, so went for a couple of slow walks. After the walks, my head feels better physically, but not the thinking aspect.
I’m trying to figure out when I got the cold. But I’m struggling to read the calendar. I know it started the day after the choir, which was also the day I went to the optician to update my glasses prescription. At both those places there were people who where sick with a Cold.
Some of my finds on my two walks today.
A result! I figured out how long I’ve had this Cold . . . It’s been 8 days so far. That’s 8 days of struggling with remembering.
It’s been the worse struggle today including remembering what I’m doing as I wrote these notes now.
I struggled acutely with remembering which photo I had not yet placed here. Even the ability to hold onto one of the photo images was impossible.
I struggled with spelling, so had to check the dictionary. This seems to be occurring occasionally of late.
Today’s memory techniques have been to:
- sit here patiently, waiting, waiting, waiting for a sign
- writing everything down in a physical notebook instead of struggling to hold onto just one tiny thought
- merely attempting to write and choreograph this blog post
I forgot where I parked my car this last week. My partner and I had driven to the hospital for him to attend an appointment. I love hanging out waiting for my partner on such occasions because it’s my opportunity to walk the streets taking photos around the neighbourhood.
Off I happily wandered, with my beloved iPhone5, looking on the ground, looking at the trees, the seeds, the lost objects on the road, the dead animals, the scattered bird feathers, the changing lights caused by the movement of the clouds, the textures of the tree trunks, the bats hanging upside down squawking.
Eventually my partner sent a text saying he was finished. We both began walking from our respective locations to meet up at the car.
And there we arrived at the same time at the car. However the car was not there. Oops!
Our first thoughts . . . . has the car been stolen?
Our next thoughts . . . . what wandering, and what forgetting had I engaged in whilst wandering. And where had I been wandering and what was my logic. We stood there attempting to pick my forgotten brain …. I had forgotten to pay attention to where I had been, and whether I had indeed moved the car, because I may have possibly thought we had over stayed the parking limit.
After decoding these thoughts we decided I must have moved the car. I suddenly thought perhaps the photos I had taken might give some clues. My partner helped me unpick my whereabouts one photo at a time. I noticed one of my photos was of a street name sign. This was a clue that meant I may possibly have moved the car to a street by that sign.
I’m learning not to panic when I forget. But I don’t want the story of this man who lost his car 20 years ago, to cause too much havoc in my life . . . not just because it would not be helpful for me, but it would be harmful for my partner.