The private struggles of a writer, his burdens and cares, are like those of anyone. At the same time, he is given a choice: he can write about them, or not write about them. The choice itself is a burden, for one is no more wrong or right than the other; both are right; both are wrong; one is an affront to his fellow humans; the other is an affront […]
Tag Archive for ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’
Twenty-six degrees. I’m reminded of a similar morning in my mother’s old age, when the furnace stopped working, and how for the entire time during its repair, I chatted with the workman while she stayed in bed to keep warm, snug and unperturbed beneath her grandmother’s quilt, secure in the haze of her thought and non-thought, as if her dementia were a pair of soft comfortable pajamas. Now my wife […]
Yesterday afternoon, I watched through the kitchen window as a spider tried to move into a web that was already occupied. The rude visitor was slightly larger, but the two looked almost identical and might well have been from the same spring hatch. There was a steady breeze. Sunlight shone on the web, highlighting flecks of autumn debris. Both spiders paused in their encounter when they were disturbed by the […]
Every now and then, I like to remind people that I’m well aware that by publishing my efforts, I’m really charting my decline. It’s intended as a statement of humor and truth. I don’t fear losing my mind, but maybe I should. It is going. But in which direction? Is it strengthening and gathering force? I’m healthier now physically than when my books were written. I’m also older, grayer, and […]
The Asylum Poems came into being in 2007 while I was taking care of my mother, who was battling Alzheimer’s Disease. The cycle of twenty short poems comprises the whole of Volume 15 of Songs and Letters, a much larger work begun in 2005 and completed in 2009. The poems were written early in the morning at my mother’s house, in a small bedroom facing the overgrown backyard. Fir trees, […]
My mother grew sweet alyssum in the bed by the porch. That is my childhood. There is more, of course. Her birthday on the Fourth. And the force that transformed us. Mind gone, her body a torch. Mine gone, to alyssum. And a smile that could be a rainbow, or door. A limb to sing from? A wind chime? A breeze? An arch?