Friday, May 8, 2009

My Words

Photo courtesy of: http://media.photobucket.com/image/art%20words/jim131314/words-1.jpg


I recently read a newspaper article about Betty Churcher, previous Director of Australia's National Art Gallery in Canberra. She is a 78 year old woman who, after being diagnosed with melanoma of the optic nerve six years ago, is blind in her right eye and has deteriorating vision in her left eye. She is losing the very thing which allows her to live her passion and focus in life: Art. Her way of coping and keeping her art alive is to draw her favourite works of art. In this way she learns the intricate details of a piece of art, becomes familiar with its brush strokes, its depth of colour and may even experience a part of the art work she may have previously missed. And, when she does become blind, she will have a mental image of what that piece of art was like visually. She will cherish this and relive her art work in her mind.


Words are so much a part of my life. I have thought about losing the ability to use words (cognitive function), the ability to write (hand function), the ability to read (eye function). I would be truly devastated. For me, losing the ability to read would be worse than not seeing colour, a sunset or a rainbow anymore. And, although I would be able to memorise a few more poems, how could I memorise my favourite books? And after a while, would I really be able to remember the shape of the 26 letters I hold so dear? Would I remember what a sentence looked like, let alone a word?


What is it you hold most dear? Imagine losing the function of that part of your body which allows you to enjoy what is most dear to you. Could you cope, and if so how?


20 comments:

Lisa said...

i am a speech person- loving words as you do.
So a few years back when a health condition diminished my power of speech, i fell very, very hard.
then i realized, maybe the Universe wants me to SHUT UP for a while and LISTEN rather than always being the one talking.
Its hard, but i make do. i miss knowing i can just get up and talk if required, but i do listen more, so that must be a bonus xx

lakeviewer said...

You are touching raw nerves here. I'm sure we learn to adapt somehow, though with difficulty. Human will is strong.

Natalie said...

I am very visual.I would find it INCREDIBLY difficult, I am not sure I would cope. :(

Poor lady, it is heartbreaking.xx♥

Suko said...

I could not imagine--nor do I want to think about--the possibility of losing one of my senses. Instead, I'll be inspired by people--such as Helen Keller and many composers--who accomplished much in spite of their difficulties.

FrankandMary said...

I wrote a very long comment that disappeared...so I'll just say it would be sight, thought because of greatly diminished hearing in one ear, I do get a sense of what that might be like . . .

Warren Baldwin said...

I am a minister and a college professor. My voice is my livelihood. For several months now I have had vocal chord trouble. I've gone from recording 5 radio messages a week to only 2 or 3. My Ears/Nose/Throat specialist says it is only temporary, but it is still disconcerting enough to make me wonder what I would do if it became permanent.

I've decided I would write more. I'm new to blogging - about 6 weeks now - but I've already seen tremendous possibilities to learn, teach, minister. Earning a living at it might be difficult, but there would certainly be something to say ... or write!
WB

Printemps said...

lovely picture though...

Christina Lee said...

I love that pictures b/c it embodies who I am too- books on tape would just not be the same!

lunarossa said...

Hi Mervat, I think that losing my sight would be the biggest tragedy for me. My mum has got glaucoma and she's under control at the moment, but it runs in the family and this is something I really fear. The idea of not being able to see my kids' faces is devastating. Have a nice weekend. Ciao. A.

La Belette Rouge said...

I could take losing speech much more than I could tolerate not being able to read or write. Even thinking about that loss freaks me out.

AVR said...

I was just thinking about something like this the other day. About getting alzheimer's and losing all memory of who I am, my family, friends, things I have written. This scared me a bit, because my mind is something I really treasure.

AVR said...

I have to add I love this post! It brings it home for a lot of us. The picture is also great.

Valerie said...

Wow! I just love that picture. You know what they say, only worry when there's something to worry about. Be it big or small we all have a handicap to cope with. Human nature being what it is we learn to cope. I'm sure you will have words to thrill you forever and a day.

Jane said...

i think humans adapt; remember The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.

septembermom said...

I am so visual. It would be hard for me not to see all the beauty around us. It helps me in my writing in so many ways. I love the photo on this post.

Leigh said...

I don't think I would mind losing anything, really, but my mind. As long as I could still imagine, I like to think I would be content.

notSupermum said...

What a great picture. I think, all things considered, that I would hate to lose my sight. I can't imagine not being able to see my girls' faces.

Mervat said...

Lisa: I love your spin on something that could have been shattering. Keep on writing though as you have such a talent for it.
xo

lakeviewer: I think you are absolutely right. We could and do adapt.

Natalie: Mmmm, but I guess we don't really know unless we are thrown into that situation.

Suko: You are absolutely right. I remember seeing a very early production of her life and even at the age of 10 or 12 I was so touched by Helen Keller.

FrankandMary: I think most of us would find losing sight the worse.

Warren Baldwin: I am sorry re your vocal chord problems and I hope that it is only temporary. And yes, writing is certainly an alternative, but when it comes to radio, it might not be so easy. I hope you go back to your 5 programs per week.

Printemps: Yes, the thought of being wrapped up in words...well, I usually am anyway!

Christina Lee: I have never cottoned onto the idea of books on tapes either.

lunarossa: I hope glaucoma stays completely away from you and that your mum's eyesight is good.

La Belette Rouge: I am in complete agreement with you. I would much rather write what I feel, think, experience. I am so much better with the written word than with the spoken one. And you can edit writing, if you know what I mean...

AVR: Alzheimers would be a terrible disease for the person suffering and for their loved ones.

Thank you for your lovely comment re the post. I loved that picture too.

Valerie: It really is a comforting picture isn't it. I will print it and pin it on a notice-board above my desk. Quite inspiring and comforting I think. And yes, we humans have all manner of coping, somehow.

Jane: You are abolutely right. I loved The Butterfly. Must look into the Diving Bell. Thanks for that.

septembermom: You pose such a good point that what we see inspires us to write. Excellent point in fact.

Leigh: That is another really good point. I guess through imagination we still 'see'.

notSupermum: That would be most difficult, not seeing our children grow and change.

psychelyn said...

when I was younger I constantly had fears of losing a part of my body. sometimes when i try to choose which one i could possibly give up but it still it scares me out a lot. times like this, i consider a reminder of much we should appreciate what we have and make the most of it. (:

psychelyn said...

when I was younger I constantly had fears of losing a part of my body. sometimes when i try to choose which one i could possibly give up but it still it scares me out a lot. times like this, i consider a reminder of how much we should appreciate what we have and make the most of it. (:

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