I’ve ben progressing my archive project. Organising the last volumes and collections, that will bring the project to a close by the end of the year, with a little luck.
I’m discovering that this work comes with obligations, as it is not enough just to organise a certain amount of work into a given number of pages (or vice versa), but to read and to edit.
I’m finding some of that work astonishing. Some of it confronting.
This morning, I’ve started going through a dementia collection. Remembering how it came about, which I’ll share.
The family were lined up for a get-together portrait (Easter, Christmas, some-such). All happiness and smiles. That day, however, I had had separate conversations with both of my parents, and the opportunity to observe them. Both were deteriorating.
My mother, at that time had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s dementia, while my father was experiencing severe physical compromise from emphysema. He was also clandestinely engaged in a kind of guerilla warfare to keep the true state of my mothers mental deterioration a secret from the family and the world at large.
The signs of his battle were disguised, and came across as gruffness and intolerance as he tried to bark my mother straight in her posture, correct in her statements, actions and thoughts. Lock the back door when he left the house in case she wandered, or had a fall.
On the day of the portrait, I wrote a poem – my observations of what I was seeing, below the surface. From there I kept writing a collection that I called Listening to a Fading Voice. That is the potential book that i’m working on today.
It is going so well that I’ve almost immediately diverted myself to writing a post here.
I hope everyone in my extended writing family is keeping safe and well.
Here, we have rain.