The Faraway Nearby

“Georgia O’Keeffe moved to rural New Mexico, from which she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway nearby.” It was a way to measure physical and psychic geography together. Emotion has its geography, affection is what is nearby, within the boundaries of the self. You can be a thousand miles from the person next to you in bed or deeply invested in the survival of a stranger on the other side of the world.”
Rebecca Solnit

Of late, I feel that my muse, the talent that sometimes I believe is mine, is “faraway nearby,” caught in the purgatory of almost.

I read the fragments on my screen and wonder how to connect the thought dots. Sometimes, the word bridges come to me in a flash – ones that I can only capture in part because of my tremor.

I miss typing at warp speed.

My father made me take typing when I was in grammar school. “A” then “L” then ALL, all, All – again and again. I used my “skills” in my father’s office for one summer typing numbers into forms that were double checked by the “co-workers” (the literal and figurative adults in the room)  I was “hired” to” assist”. In the clarity of hindsight, I realize that my achievement that summer was to make more work for the trio of talented and patient women in my father’s employ. I never had the opportunity to improve my administrative skills over subsequent summers; cancer cut my father short. He remains with me in spirit always.

I miss typing at my mind’s speed. Sometimes when the medical planets align, I click and clack away at 70 or 80 words a minute, blissful in the relative rapidity, even though it’s not like the 90+ words that was my pre-Parkie practice.

But even this tremulous glass is half full. Tremor-dominant twitchers are less likely to develop the dementias and other villainous Parkie visitations. I am hopeful that I will forever be aware of my increasing limitations.

Yes, dictation programs are improving, and I am getting better at reading my own handwriting. I know, there is always ingenuity and hope. I comfort myself with these thoughts too.

But not tonight. Tonight, the pills gods are not aligned. I hand write notes which I hope are legible and which will bring me back to the word processor sooner rather than later. 70 words a minute is faraway nearby.


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