Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Lost words: 30 Minute Poetry



Saturday was a bad day. A day where I had an unexpected and very sudden flare that left me vague, slurring and having to be carried into the house. That stole my words. The frustration that the words which are my world, that have always been my word are so distant and so hard to access. Even today four days later I am struggling. It's a deep mental exhaustion, on top of the physical. I can feel it in my bones, in the very fibres of my body and spirit. I know it'll end. That I'll come around again. Just the post flare lag is longer now. Everything is slowed, my muscles, my brain, my recovery. A snails pace to taunt my impatient self.



I'm losing my words again.
Every time I have a flare.
Something in my brain goes silent.
Or dies.
Underfed. Partially fed.
Another brain cell lost to poor blood flow.
And exhaustion.
Bone weary exhaustion.


I know where they are stored.
I can visualise it still.
But I can't recall the name
that part of the brain that stores them.
Vague images of pathways 
I drew in postgrad float before me.
But there is no clarity to the image.
No meaning.
No understanding.


I have held it in my hands.
I can close my eyes and clearly remember
tracing the sulci with my gloved finger.
The feel and weight of the plasticised brain.
The smell of the preservatives in the anatomy lab.
The muffled silence of the room.


A real brain.
Donated.
Honoured and respected.
A gift.
A miracle and mystery.
A tangible aid to the acquiring of knowledge.
That was once so familiar.
But the specifics are lost again.
I can see it.
I can feel it.
But I cannot name it.


I see the words before me.
Indistinct and shimmering.
And on the edges of my vision
Swirling and darting.
Try to focus and they move
taking up residence in the distance
 or on the periphery once more.
Like water, they trickle through the fingers of understanding.
And I am left at a loss yet again.


I know what I want to say.
But I can't follow my own train of thought.
I know the phrase but it is jumbled.
Bits replaced by words that sound the same.
That create the same shape on the page.
But are meaningless in the context.


I talk around the word.
Around the thought.
I gesture and I hesitate.
I slur and I um.
Thing, the thing.
You know the thing.
The description of the word compromised
by the very lack of words to describe.
Pauses. Hesitation. Silence and confusion.
Work. It's hard work.
The expenditure exhausting.


Words trickle slowly.
By the time the sentence is formed it's initial intent is lost.
The sentences and thoughts that came before, also lost
To a mind unable to focus.


The thoughts form.
Slowly swirling.
Almost coalescing only to dissolve before me.
A fog of curves, straight lines and sharp corners.
Letters rotating, morphing, joining
and breaking apart.


A word, a sound,
the interruption of competing thoughts,
or bodily processes.
The least shiniest of objects
and
the moment of coherence is lost as if it never existed.
The time from thought to word,
spoken or written.
A second,
a minute,
it is all too much.


And the words are lost.


Words which are me.
Words which are my link to the world.
The vague hope that they'll return.
That despite everything
I'll be able to transfer my mind to the page.


Once more.


That concentration will return.
That organisation will return.
That I will return.


I will see me.
I will write me.
I will read me.
I will share me.
I will be me.
I will.

Michelle

I've written about persistent communication difficulties before in Speak Words Hard But the poem above is more a description of the experience of losing the words in the recovery phase after a flare.

1 comment:

All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx