Today I am mourning my brain. In between the wracking bouts of anguish, I have ideas of where I will go from here if the cpap machine doesn’t resurrect my ability to remember things, but losing the ability to learn (quickly) and write are huge losses for me, very tied in to my identity. And I have already mostly lost the ability to read for pleasure, since I don’t retain what I read for any length of time. I might remember what I read at the top of the page by the time I get to the bottom, but too often I don’t, and re-reading and re-reading might or might not work.
And writing. How can I write when I forget what I have already written?
Hemingway wrote, “Memory is hunger.” Of all the things I forget, I’m trying very hard not to remember that I read somewhere that at least one factor in Hemingway’s suicide was that electroshock treatments had zapped his memory, and thus his ability to write.
Anyway, ideas. Possibilities. Hope bucket stuff.
Regarding reading: My old memories seem more or less intact, so I am thankful I read so much. That means I can possibly still enjoy re-reading old favorites.
Regarding storytelling: godlight is finished. No one may want to represent and/or publish it if I can’t produce more, but I can still publish it myself, since that has long been my backup plan. At least it won’t languish in a drawer.
I mentioned old memories are still intact, so perhaps I can still finish Gallows Dogs. I still remember what is supposed to happen, although not everything, because I hadn’t decided on everything yet. godlight‘s grand finale didn’t reveal itself to me until I wrote it, and I assume surprises will happen in GD as well. But maybe I can deal. Maybe. I can’t know unless I try and see.
Truth: I’m afraid to try, because the answer might be a big ol’ nope. I’m putting off trying until I’ve tried the cpap; the doc recommends three weeks. Maybe I am (not) panicking over nothing.
Another thing I might be able to manage even with my memory impaired is, a sequel to godlight. Again, this has always been the long term plan. But since I already have the backstory and characters built for that one, making a series might be a little like writing my own fan fiction. Again, I won’t know this unless I try.
Maybe I could read new books in old series, also. I saw where Miss Julia has a new book out.
Storytelling Plan B: If the cpap doesn’t sufficiently alleviate my memory and cognitive issues, and if I am unable to write fiction, I will switch to another medium. I’ll finally have time to really explore photography (I still haven’t truly got good use out of my new camera) drawing, or digital painting, or any of the myriad other art skills that I so badly want to practice, but for which I never have time.
Previously, when considering which if any of those activities to pursue, I have always thought, “I’d love to do that, but I’m not really good at any of that anyway.”
Maybe that’s because I haven’t put my 10,000 hours in. But if I put those hours in, I’d almost certainly get better at them. The upside of losing my mind could be…gaining time.
I would be reinventing myself. Again. But I have done that (hence the again, and could most likely do it again.
Not today though. Today I am still grieving. But later.
For now, I need to post this. Mostly in case I forget.