Prelude

What does it mean to be a “little off”? To not be lining up with the world in ways you are accustomed to? What kind of thoughts might follow that misalignment? What kind of writing? It’s probably true that we, those of us who are fortunate enough to get to think in public, want to present ourselves as competent…convincing even…Maybe contribute something that makes us stand out from the thicket of thoughts and aesthetic nuance. But surely thoughts that are “a little off” must have merit of some sort, seeing as many of us whether we want to or not embody that off-ness on a regular basis… That off-ness is the rule and competency is the exception might be reason enough to share thoughts from a scene of being not quite right…

In this regards I think of DeKooning’s late paintings…The spare paintings that are often dismissed as being the ones he made when he had dementia…And therefore not up to par with the work he made at the “height of his powers”… This dismissal strikes me as sad for a couple of reasons. Primarily because it seems a missed opportunity to think about a mind in the state of dementia…Not as a kind of sympathetic appeal for the artist (though why not that too?), but because it is a state that we all share or will share in our own life or through relations with someone we might know with the disease. It should go without saying dementia or Alzheimer’s is not simply a little off, it is rather a radical alteration of being in the world. What’s more, it ripples out to the loved ones and it effects them in drastic and painful ways. Ways that bind people to the disease that they could have never anticipated…To point where one who does not physically have the disease, might be justified in saying: I have Alzheimer’s.

Such is the impact the disease has on a familial relation of someone with Alzheimer’s. You may not have it physically but you definitely are hit with it psychically. Imprinted with a new reality. This is the space that I conceived the lines that follow. The ever present backstory that shadows each word of this text. Over the last six odd years I have watched as Alzhiemer’s has effected my mother’s brain…How it brutally altered her reality…I won’t…I can’t…go into detail what that means…Other than to say it’s a horror I hope you who are reading this will not have to experience…Instead I want to share a line of thinking that perhaps could have only developed through an intimate encounter of watching someones brain change and be witness as their reality glitches to the point of dissolve… This then is (as much of my writing since this encounter) a little off…

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