t o t

You know that expression?  Tip of my tongue.  I think it's still in common use because of Alzheimer's.  Early onset, anyway.  We all have elusive memories, one way and another.  Early days, when someone is trying to remember a name or a word, it's almost in reach, just hiding momentarily, or dangling out of sight, or - yes - on the tip of the tongue.  Spit it out!  If only one could.  For a while one can.  

I was fascinated with "Still Alice", the novel by Lisa Genova that has just been made into a movie starring Julianne Moore.  Alice is a very educated woman and the first warning sign she gets of her future problems comes with her brief inability to recall a word she wants to use in a lecture.  She recovers it but her confidence is shaken.  I won't go into it any more. You can read the book or see the movie soon.  I understand that the more learned one is, the easier it is to cover one's slips. Synonyms or paraphrases can mask the original blank.  I had a friend who called the Welland Canal "that manmade ditch" when he couldn't think of the name.  

It must be frightening, though. I can imagine two voices, one inside one's head  with the right words and one outside saying surprising or simplified expressions of one's actual thoughts. Several years ago I participated in LibLab, an intensive  workshop set up (annually) by Tapestry Opera in Toronto, bringing together 4 composers and 4 librettist-playwrights to create 5-minute operas.  I wrote a libretto for two voices, one tenor, one baritone, playing one man on the cusp of Alzheimer's.  The baritone voice sang his complete thoughts and the tenor sang what emerged, much simplified, a counterpoint to the original.  It was a challenge to the composer, to say the least. 

Alzheimer's is a challenge.

We go on, we go on.....