Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Arrival of the Amanuensis - Tal Writing : Tal on Television, - Sept 2013

Looking over Pop's writing this past summer and found this :

Tal on the subject of Television :

   "Television is "High Anxiety"!  Hour after hour, making the world a place to be fearful of. Have you seen something called  Saturday Night Seduction ? Every step leads to terror and death. I think older people are more sensitive to this and after awhile they accept it as normal. (not just older people, everyone! )

They have the beginning of that thought/feeling that the world out there is really such a frightening place. You wonder where the beauty went ?

You want to say: "Wait a Moment! I need something that leads you  to beautiful thoughts! Not that lead you to your fears! "

If you have a TV, I'd be more careful."

You might be wondering how Tal "writes" with the damage sustained to his right parietal ?

Well his ever resourceful left hemisphere has come up with a solution of sorts. Use of Pop's terrific long term memory. We often see him writing with his right finger on shoulder or knee. I'm guessing this is some type of memory enhancement. We need a decent neurologist to describe what is truly happening here but it seems to be something like memorization. It's certainly one of Tal's primary activities, this finger writing.  

So it isn't surprising when you hear him able to start telling you a new Dragon Tale or speaking to a recent interest in perfect sentences. I quickly grab the ipad or a sheet of paper and start taking his words down down as fast as i can. When he pauses, I read him back what I have written and on he goes, correcting grammer, changing a word here or there.

Sometimes like this piece on Television with a capitol T , it comes out exactly like he's said it. Quite different than having a conversation with him ! It's as if he had been working on what he wanted to say, honing his words before sharing them with me. Pretty surprising isn't it?

We are trying to encourage him in this direction and have asked a young therapist to try combining "talk therapy" with that of being an amamuensis. At first Pop was quite wary. He would gladly "write" with me, his daughter, but with Craig, he said he thought C was going to use these words in  "his book on Tal" !

"No, that isn't the case. Craig is going to be your amanuensis as well as your talking therapist. Like Eric Fenby was to Frederick Delius. We wouldn't have "Song of Summer"*  if it weren't for Eric Fenby !" I told him.

And this he was able to take on board. Evidence ? He's been doing some pretty interesting writing with Craig these past few months. Hopefully the trust between these two men will only grow stronger as they practice this new way of working together. It requires great sensitivity on both sides, I think. Craig to Pop's physical condition of the day and Pop's sensitivity to Craig's searching for the way into his maze of a brain. They will certainly have fits and starts and back steps. But Mom and I are optimistic !  


 *Song of Summer is both the title of an incredibly     beautiful piece of music composed by Fredrick     Delius near the end of his life in 1931 and a film of the same name made for the BBC by the enfant terrible of English cinema, Ken Russell, in 1968.

 Before you dismiss the film entirely on reading that,  you should know this is pre "Sons and Lovers","The Boyfriend"; "Tommy" et all. Certainly one of Russell's greatest films.

Shot in  black and white, impeccable editing and with wonderful performances from Max Adrian as Delius, Maureen Pryor as Delius's long suffering wife Jelka and Christopher Gable as Delius' amanuensis : Eric Fenby. And there is the beautiful Delius music throughout. One of Pops all time favorite films.