oh dear

It's been a while. I've been away, and busy, but I'm still here, and thinking.  If there are any new readers, welcome, sorry to have neglected you. You - well, the blog - are in my thoughts every day now. "I must tell BLOG that," I think. I guess the thought is as good as the action, but of course, it's not. So here's a little quicky:  Shortly after Angelina Jolie made world-wide news with her announcement, Brad Pitt  dropped a newsy item I saw on TV.  He has prosopagnosia.  well I didn't know he had it but I know what it is and I know how to spell it.  Oliver Sacks has it; so do I.  Prosopagnosia is face blindness, the inability to remember a face. You know the line, "I don't remember your name but your face is familiar." Well, if you can't remember the face, the name is no use at all.  This weakness can be very embarrassing.  After Bill and I moved to Stratford, everyone wanted to meet the new administrator of the Festival and there were lots of parties.  At one party I went up to a woman and said, "Hello, I'm Betty Jane Wylie," and she said, "that's the third time you've told me this week." Oops. I didn't remember her face.  It can be worse. I was negotiating with a new publisher about a book and the managing editor and publisher took me to lunch, so our meeting lasted over a couple of hours, long enough, you'd think, to learn a face.  Later, I talked to the editor over the phone and then when I met someone in the hallway of the company's office, I referred to talking to so-an-so and she said I am so-an-so.  I hadn't remembered her face. Oh dear. I simply lack the ability to face-map.  There's a poem by C. Day-Lewis (father of Daniel) that begins: "Different living is not living in different places/But creating in the mind a map."  I  cannot create in my mind a map of the faces of the people I meet. I have to wait until I meet a person several times, or else until I am horribly embarrassed by my disability.  So if you see me on the street and I don't speak to you, forgive me.  Next time, maybe.