Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Trail Of Memories

I had my regular psychiatrist appointment yesterday. It's not much more than a "med check" to ensure all is well. All is not well with one of my two meds, which I've been on for most of the 4-1/2 years we've been in Spain. I've noticed I'm experiencing some side-effects in recent months. Really very minor, but enough for us to make a change. So, I'm phasing off this one and will probably try something new soon.

(Click any image to make the trails — all bird prints — more clear.)


My visit was a revelation (I'd say Epiphany, but that was Wednesday). I can now easily speak with my psychiatrist, in Spanish, on any subject.

A WALK ON THE BEACH.

During our brief conversation, as I answered a question, it dawned on me that despite all the bumps in the road it turns out my life is the kind of life I fantasized about as a child. My sister Dale had the same kinds of childhood fantasies and, although her life was filled with bumps and only lasted 29 years, I think a lot of her fantasies came true, as well.


We both imagined lives different from most of our friends and family (not better, just different). We both imagined foreign lands, foreign loves. Dale traveled the world, married young, and lived in England with her foreign prince.

I met San Geraldo from South Dakota (even more foreign to a New Yorker than someone from England). We moved often, constantly re-imagining our lives. And now we've made a foreign land our home — and no longer foreign. And we're still constantly re-imagining our lives.

The psychiatrist  asked me if I felt that Dale was traveling with me through life. Without hesitation, I said, "Absolutely."




I was never a fan of author Louis L'Amour, but I like this:

"No memory is ever alone;
 it's at the end of a trail of memories,
a dozen trails that each have their own associations."


Where are you going?

23 comments:

  1. How very comforting, Mitchell. Love your bird trail images and imagery. I have always a strong need to find my own path, too, and it is wonderful when you have the right partner at your side.

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  2. What a sweet post. How much Spanish did you know when you moved to Spain? I only know a few words, leftover from a college introductory spanish course that my prof got fired 1/2 way through (for swearing at students, he was a real peach). Hubby has been on antidepressents our entire marraige - thank goodness. He tried to get off them last year - worst year ever. He has come to the realization that medication helps, some kinds better than others. I hope your new one helps :)

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    1. Cheapchick:
      I had Spanish 7th through 12th grade and then at university for one year. I barely used it after that, learned some Italian, and studied other languages for travel. By the time we moved here, I could hardly remember anything. But it comes back and I study and practice every day (and have managed to now forget any Italian I ever knew). So glad your husband appreciates the value of anti-depressants. It took me years to be convinced it was something I could need the rest of my life. Medication really has changed everything for me. I'm doing fine and am unconcerned about the transition, especially since I'm on two different meds.

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  3. I love you Mitchell. I read through your link to your sister Dale. I loved you more. P's brother R died from a brain haemmoragh when he was 31. P has been part of a trail of memories too which he finds he cannot share and as much as I try it is impossible for him to release them. He has now been on medication for 20 years that keep him ok, and able to cope. His brother R travels with us every day. x

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    1. Rachel:
      Thanks so much for the kind words and for sharing your own experience. I'm sorry for what P (and you, therefore) have gone through all this time. I'm grateful that I've usually been a talker. I didn't always really understand what I was talking about, but things become more clear with time. Wishing P better times.

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  4. Mitchell interesting post. I always admire people who are brave enough to live differently. I know it personally because I live ion different part of my country looking for the best option....

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    1. Gosia:
      Change and risk can be a wonderful thing.

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  5. Always breathtaking in your self-honesty... thank you Mitchell, you are my constant inspiration. Louis L'Amour had his moments of wisdom, well-larded with cowboy cornpone it's true, but we all have to make a living.

    Will you be terribly surprised when I tell you that is my favourite Dave Matthews song? No? Didn't think so.

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    1. Jacqueline:
      Oh, why am I not surprised it's your favourite Dave Matthews song!?! We're two of a kind and I'm honoured to be in such good company.

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  6. Thank you for this insightful and heartfelt post. You and Dale had and have a wonderful relationship, Mitchell.
    The imagery is perfect. I guess we never really walk alone,eh?

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    1. Jim:
      It turns out I have a crowd with me on my solitary walks. It's a nice feeling.

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  7. What a great thought and memory!
    Happy travels always for you and Dale ... and San Geraldo!

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    1. Bob:
      Thanks. The question surprised me and the fact that it was so easy to answer. It's a nice feeling.

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  8. I am always SO impressed that you can do things like talk about any subject with your psychiatrist, in Spanish. That must be so rewarding!
    I'm glad that you feel that Dale is traveling with you :)

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    1. Judy:
      Sometimes I impress myself, too. Then I try to say the simplest thing in a shop and... well, I'm not very impressed anymore. But there's been great progress. It's a nice thought that Dale travels with me and I'm really grateful for that question.

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  9. We are all but atoms of energy combined in most exciting and unusual ways ~~ our lives are intertwined with so many other peoples and family members ~ understanding one's reason for living and being exactly where they are at this point in time can be daunting, so I 'like a file card system' place everything neatly so that I can continue on. Weird I know but when experiences colour the path behind and in front of you making sense of something can only be achieved for me with time and that 'aha' moment.

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    1. Ron:
      And it's reassuring the discover that those "aha" moments continue to occur.

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  10. Beautifully said and the bird prints in the sand poetic. Your life is a great adventure a bit like a novel and that is precious.

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    1. Laurent:
      This post, like many others, was a stream-of-consciousness. For some reason I was inspired by the bird prints while on my walk. Then, as I sat here, they connected with my experience of the day. (And to think my initial idea was to write a post that was "for the birds").

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  11. Just got this today (internet problems again), and so am reading all the prior comments.... wish I could say those things as eloquently and thoughtfully as they all did... I have many of the same thoughts about you and the path life takes us. I admire you for being so open.... and I love it that my own path crossed yours a few years back.

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    1. Sharon:
      I'm really glad our paths crossed, too. (And I also wish I could say those things as eloquently and thoughtfully as they all did!)

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  12. Oh this is splendid. I echo some of the previous comments this is an excellent post.
    You should repost it once in a while so we all don't forget its lesson.

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    1. Spo:
      Thanks so much. That means so much to me!

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