Friday, November 29, 2013

I have of late, but wherefore I know not

In no order of preference:

My son's life.
My mother's death.
My future.

I was the last person to understand my mum's speech. I had to use telepathy, most of the time, but I understood her. The reverse of the toddler experience: when a small child speaks, people ask the mother, what did she say?

I translated my mother to the world. She'd speak, and I'd repeat what she said, and I really believe I managed to make the repetition pretty natural, so that my mum continued to remain a partaker in conversations for a good while longer than she would have without me. Finally, it became almost completely impossible for me to understand her either. She stopped speaking, once and for all and forever, in January. I am not sure I can now remember my mum's voice. I'm sure I will, one day, again, when enough time has passed between myself and the deterioration into such depths of grotesque grunts and groans they became indecipherable even for me, and the voice-synthesising devices that have followed the cessation of the grunting.

I am having to telepathise with the voice-synthesizer device now. It's much harder, and I'm not anywhere near as good with that. The voice-synthesizer didn't bear me, I didn't learn to speak from it.

Recently, I read Alice Munro's Dear Life. She tells how she, too, was the last to understand the speech of her mother, dying of Parkinson's. It would be interesting to know if this is an experience shared by others, not just Alice and me. Alice, of course, doesn't know she shares this experience with me, but she does.

As for the other things, finances are shit, my son's life I won't speak about, and certain uncertainties regarding my future are not of the exciting, but rather, the neurotic-vortex inducing kind.

I'll live, unless I die, like everyone else.

Oh, I just can't resist it, it has to be said, no matter how poncy and over-dramatic; nay, verily, I cannot resist saying it precisely because of its very poncy over-dramaticness:

and the rest is silence.


Montag said...

I am sorry at your mother's passing. I read your post "this be the verse,part two" and see that your experience has been expressed as deeply beautiful art, and you transform your personal pain into that of a world where the "largest and most dynamic economy" and the country "whose GDP will surpass that of the USA by such-and-such a year" is not at all above turning a few tricks as a ghoul harvesting body parts.

I would say now that you are too perfect for this world, but from your latest posts it is obvious that many need you; we need you yet.

You mention that you were the only person to understand your mother's speech. That reminds me of Orson Scott Card's "Speaker For The Dead", which is a continuation of "Ender's Game", a film currently shown.

You are too interesting not to be here for us.

Anna MR said...

Ah Montag. Thank you for your lovely words. You, however, praise me overmuch, kind Sir. I have as one of my aims in life to become a better person; sadly, as of late, I have perhaps focussed more on other, more worldly pursuits, which does shame me somewhat, as the hopelessness of trying to become good is, at the end of the day, the or at least a central meaning of life. I try to be forgiving towards myself, though. One focuses on whatever gets one through, for the time being. One also gets to know some darker sides of oneself, as well as one's unexpected strengths.

The purpose of life, perhaps, is to grow and to learn. As well as try to become a good person. Neither task is ever achieved, which is a relief of sorts. Life is never done, in that sense.

My mum hasn't yet passed. She is … how to put it. She is passing. She has been passing for quite some time now. Her speech was the first thing to go. The ability to eat was the second; mobility has been decreasing considerably and at a heightened rate over the last six months. She no longer walks. Soon there won't be much she can do with the voice synthesizer either, as there is precious little dexterity left in her hands; already her typed messages from where she now resides are at best short sentences, often mere telegrams to be deciphered using telepathy. She has Lou-Gehrig's. I am fairly certain it is the cruellest way to go.

I read Ender's Game some years ago. I went through an intense science-fiction stage when I was very young, and am rarely drawn to any sci-fi or even fantasy literature these days, but I did like it. I also liked Cloud Atlas. Both are, actually, perhaps dystopias for our times. These are needed to show us where we are at.

Dear Montag, a very, very Happy New Year to you, amongst everything that isn't and never will be happy. I abhor positive thinking, the way it is forced down our necks ("it's never too late to have a happy childhood" – urgh), but life is precious and it is now. So…onwards and onwards, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

An x for 2014