One of the weirdest things about yesterday’s procedure was my loss of memory. Or, to be more precise, to have temporarily lost “the ability to create new memories,” which is what one of the medications in my sedative does, according to its description. I was standing in the garden yesterday afternoon, still on a high from the meds I think, and trying to recall how M and I got from the Reception of the building where I had my procedure to the car. It was a total blank. I asked M about it, and she told me that she’d had to grab me a few times on the way from the building to the car to stop me from falling into the bushes in the car park. I couldn’t recall any of that. She said it was like taking hold of someone who was really drunk. And I can’t remember anything about the drive home, except for seeing Earlham Police Station on a roundabout, and getting out of the car in our drive in the pouring rain. Funny, but scary, if you think about what could be done with such a drug if it was used illegally in a variety of situations (that’s how writers’ minds work, threading real life into fiction and asking what-ifs all the time – just read On Writing by Stephen King – what if is the question all novels germinate with; poems as well in my view – poems are sometimes just extrapolations of an idea, not actually a recounting of real events).
In truth, I still feel a little off kilter this morning, somewhere in the clouds, and I have a tsunami of words in my head competing with each other to get from there into a more physical form, which is one reason I’m not actually starting work until the appointed time rather than starting as soon as I have got up, had my water and Manuka honey). Just trying to get them out so that the next wave doesn’t drown me.
My great friend Ren Powell has started blogging again this week. Her voice is a comfort and an illumination. The poet’s poet, in my view. To find myself surrounded by her words is always being in a safe place for me. And just because there is comfort for me in hearing her voice, it doesn’t mean that it’s always comfortable reading. I think what she writes is always about the conflict between our inner life and our outside life. A reflection on the unpartitioned nature of writers’ minds, with which I mean that it confirms for me that writers can’t compartmentalise like most rational people, that all parts of our lives get mixed up into one colourful (sometimes joyous, sometimes incredibly overwhelming and frightening, sometimes confusing) pattern, because we need it that way to create, because we can’t build walls between the separate parts of our lives (because for us they aren’t separate), because all aspects of our life inform our creations.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 223