The Day Dream.

Source of Creativity and Escape

Thirty years or so ago a psychiatrist came to address our service club about Alzheimer’s disease.  Jokingly, he said, “Forgetting where you left your keys is not dementia.  Forgetting what they are for is.”

I don’t think I have impending dementia, but I do think I’m losing it.  I no longer remember little things that I would once have had no trouble remembering; things like remembering what Lynn asked me to do before I left to walk the dog, and the time we were supposed to be at friends for dinner.

To be fair to myself, I used to write things down to remember things like phone numbers, dates, addresses and the like.  I can’t do that now without grapping my iPad and making a note, and I have never had a very good auditory memory. 

The lack of memory, though, may not be lack of memory at all.  That’s what really has me worried.

I’ve gotten really lazy.  Lynn has an excellent auditory memory.  She was in community-theater at one time.  She has an excellent memory period.  So, why take a not when someone else will remember?  Worse, yet, is the lack of memory about things that she has told me.  Did I really forget what the chore she gave me, or did I unconsciously ignore it?

Am I just not listening?

Since the loss of good vision we have been together 24/7.  It’s bad enough when people retire, the enforced togetherness.  It is amplified ten times when one person can no longer drive.  I read on a tablet, and communicate via computer.

We irritate each other while we still love each other.

Things that could be done to help remedy the situation seem too large, or inappropriate.  They include:

-Moving to an area that has public transportation.

-Walking to places that are too dangerous to walk to, even with my white cane.

-Insisting that she get involved with some community volunteer program (she is not a volunteer type).

-Insisting that she forget about me and the house and all of the other stuff and go to her art studio.

-Stop blogging.  I spend a lot of time in my head thinking about what others have written and things that I might write. 

After all, which life is more important, real or virtual?

Views: 212

Comment by koshersalaami on January 14, 2017 at 7:09am

Silly question. 

What's that got to do with the price of eggs?

What's more important, talking to your friends or mowing your lawn? That depends on how lonely you feel, whether you can find your front door, how pissed your wife is about the grass, and how badly you need the exercise. 


Comment by Rodney Roe on January 14, 2017 at 7:19am

Terry, we just had our 50th.  Our relationship is much the same as you describe.

I'm awed by really creative people.  I'm reading a short story collection by Jhumpa Lehiri, now, Interpreter of Maladies, and each story, while written about things she knows well, the lives of Indians abroad, is written in such a comfortable easy and creative style I revel in the writing.

It's sort of depressing to think that I'm past the peak of my creativity.  Our niece's two grandmothers are a study in how not to age.  My mother-in-law at 90+ has all of her wits and her body is a wreck.  The other grandmother, in her late 80s looks 70 and has no idea where she is. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 14, 2017 at 7:22am

kosh, it was intended to be silly.  I like your illustration of context.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on January 14, 2017 at 7:51am

Doc, I deal with my brother everyday, make sure he takes his pills, changes clothes, gets a hot meal. I take him to see the doctor, shopping for food and snacks, pay his bills and clean up and take out the trash.  A couple of weeks ago he went to the ER with sinusitis and bronchitis, I was there with him for six hours and visited each of the two days he was in the hospital recovering.  He is my older brother and over the past sixty years we've spent less than a few days together. 

He has little or no idea of who I am, what year it is and he's forgotten how to turn on his TV.  But he's family and family does what is needed.  Such is life.  Take care of yourself as best you can and cherish the time you have with the woman you love.

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 14, 2017 at 8:16am

JMac, I hesitated to talk about this because I know you are taking care of your brother.  You need to take care of yourself, as well.  Another thing the psychiatrist said was, "A couple comes into the office.  They are within a couple of years in age.  One has early Alzheimers.  They come back 3 years later because now the one with Alzheimers is going to need professional nursing care.  The patient looks 3 years older.  The care-giver looks 10 years older." 

You are a good man to do this.  Some family members would not.

Comment by Rosigami on January 14, 2017 at 8:46am

The BLP and I have only been together about a dozen years, which is a drop in the bucket compared to those if you who have been married 40 or 50 years to the same person. Though he's only 5 years older than me, he's been retired since long before we met. He's been able spend lots of time on his music and on construction projects around the house. (He's a very skilled carpenter)  I'm the one who gets to go out to work a couple of days a week at the college. My other job is out of my art studio here at home.
We have a lot of togetherness and mostly it works out just fine. (Sometimes I want to kill him, too.)
@Terry: I didn't know that about creativity peaking in the upper 60s. As I watch BLP writing music and learning cover tunes at an increasing rate, and my own art skills taking off, it makes a bit of sense.
I worry about our mortality, though.
Life seems a lot more fragile than it did even 10 years ago.

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 14, 2017 at 9:20am

I don't know how to measure all of this.  As far as technique is concerned my guitar has gotten much better since retirement.  I have more time to 'invent' both in style and content, but is the content any better?

I've started so many writing projects that are just in a file on my computer.  I may have to finish them in another life.

My pottery has been uninspired for quite a while. 

I think that creativity is not born in a vacuum.  I need interaction with other artists to come up with new ideas. There are some fine artists where we live, but most are 2D, and many of the 3D are fine crafts people,but not really creative.  (They seem to be the ones most committed to calling themselves artists.)  Some artists seem to do just fine in isolation., though.  Their inner muse, I guess.

Comment by alsoknownas on January 14, 2017 at 9:50am

Perhaps it's selective listening and hasn't anything to do at all with your memory.

I make a few notes to myself but for the most part realize that if I forget something it probably wasn't list worthy anyway.

I may go 4G this Spring. I've resisted it. Then I can keep my notes in one place and lose them all at the same time.

Comment by Rodney Roe on January 14, 2017 at 10:27am

AKA I need a folder In Notes labeled WTF?

Comment by greenheron on January 14, 2017 at 10:36am

Well, this is probably not the best place to say this, but I think the internet compromises and even disables memory. A little glowing onscreen world fills up the head and leaves little room for anything else.

I am working on a drawing of two herons, each holding one end of a stick in their beaks. On my early morning walk, I noticed how the magnolia buds are beginning to turn pale green and swell, as they always do this time of year, sooner than other flowering trees. In a flash, I was inspired to add a fat magnolia bud to the stick–even though it's a sycamore, really, who cares, and gild the bud. I have been gilding bits of drawings ever since learning to gild via german youtube vids, and finally plunking down a hundred bucks for a book of 24K rose gold leaf. 

My meandering point (sorry!)? If I hadn't seen the magnolia bud, drawing would be fine, now it'll be better. Off I go to do that cuz the bud won't draw itself :)


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