Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Windmills of my Mind.....

Sadly, it has been over two months since my last post. In that time my mind has stumbled and tripped over at least a hundred different subjects, thoughts, or sentences that I imagined would be good blog material. Obviously none developed into a blog post. Such is my state of mind.

For the longest time after my diagnosis I clung to a raft of denial. While the ravages of this disease (syndrome, malady, etc....) are more akin to a large, slow-moving river than a rushing torrent, it is, nevertheless, slowly eroding away the banks on which my facilities reside. It was foolish of me to deny that the erosion of my motor functions, speech deterioration, and social withdrawal would inevitably lead to my diminished ability to think........even to feel.

The ironic reality of the degeneration of my brain's ability to generate the signals necessary to produce the coordinated movements necessary to tie a shoe is that it also saps my mind's abilities to create a story in which there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. I can seemingly exist in real time. That is, I am conscious of things around me and am self aware. I can also carry on a conversation about things in the now. I can even plan to do things in the near term, like pick up a few things at the store. The future beyond a few months is shrouded in fog.

One of the grandiose things I planned to accomplish after I quit working was to finish editing and cataloging the many many hours of family video tape I had taken over the last 24 years. I, over the course of two years, transfered ALL the VHS tapes to over one hundred DVDs. I then copied all of the DVDs to my hard drive. I bought video editing software and taught myself to use it. I then wrote a spreadsheet to allow me to catologue and sort the videos by subject, date, location, or by person. The spreadsheet even included "hyperlinked" shortcuts to each video. It is a work of art.

I began editing the videos and filling in the spreadsheet about five months ago. My first video camera was purchased in late 1987. I am now just finishing with the videos from Christmas, 1988. My fear now is that I'll never finish.

The act of watching a video version of a moment from a past life, choosing what moments to cut out to produce a more meaningful video, and then cataloguing the contents in a logical coherent manner has become the windmill to my Don Quixote.