Thursday, June 28, 2012

Word. Words?

The Cave
The most difficult thing is to communicate, to explain anything as I am recovering from the removal of my benign meningioma (the brain tumor that was diagnosed in October of 2011). While I may seem to be myself, I really do not feel myself yet...over four months out from surgery. I enjoy being alive and I am experiencing a creative surge that my productivity can barely keep up with, and most of all I am grateful surgery went well and I can still be available to my kids and my husband in the most important and general ways. Yet, there are disconnections and missteps and losses that pop up into my day-to-day existence that cause me to ponder how to really get to recovery that feels 100% beyond the general and that is specifically me, the person I know myself to be.

Writing from the heart is, perhaps, my greatest challenge. I write something over and over again now, that, before this adventure, may have seemed acceptable after one or two tries. My heart feels disconnected from words mostly. I do not know currently if it is because I was blinded to the confusion in my structure and connection before, or whether it is because I will run into a word that I have an idea for but cannot locate in reality, and this is part of recovering. I’m quick to replace those words but often my replacements lead me down another road than I’d intended. This happens in conversation as well, a constant reaching for words that match my ideas and thoughts. I used to have a vocabulary.

Further developing this word replacement in a “benign” way, a way that is constantly entertaining to my kids, my brain seems to work a lot like a smartphone type screen - in that it offers a slew of words that are somewhat similar in spelling and often chooses that word arbitrarily. Spelling or phonetic choice having a higher priority than meaning everytime. I try to catch these words and replace them correctly as soon as I can, but, if you’ve used a smartphone at all, you know that it is a frequent problem to have commented in a way you never intended. Bring that to a conversation. Add another person to the conversation, or a roomful of conversations, or a radio or a television in the background and imagine the brain reaches out and grabs any number of words and spews them into the conversation you’re having with complete disregard to what you’re actually talking about. Yes. I’m a lot of fun. My daughter says with an awesome smile on her face, “Mom, you said that with so much confidence!”

I’m wondering if I’m writing any of this in a way that you can understand, but I’m going ahead and posting it just to see what the response is because maybe I’m the only one that is frustrated. Because this is the other thing, when I try to read this stuff, it is difficult to decipher. It is difficult to decipher an article, a chapter, anything longer than 144 characters. I feel like I should hold my hand and get serious about sitting for an hour reading, but after 10 minutes, I’m lost sometimes. Not always, but sometimes I am simply unable to read. Sometimes a person hands me a business card or an appointment card and I look at it as if it is a picture, waiting for comprehension.
Nature's Balance

All of this word stuff would be driving me even more crazy except for the fact that I feel free, in a way, of the obligation to know everything for once. I have become aware of the weight of my expectations around words. I would like to skip the know-it-all need sometimes. Sometimes I would like to turn my back on the old way, and accept that I’m now primarily a visual person, someone who communicates with icons and symbols. Sometimes.

Then I have an idea for a story, or a letter, a good conversation or a speech and I’m revived in the battle to win my brain back.

2012 (c) Amanda Morris Johnson