My first response to The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, is “this is fantasy?” I mean, really, it has a dragon, ogres, and one of Arthur’s knights. And the boatman. And the giant sleeping under the hill. And an uneasy peace brought on by the fact that people don’t remember much that happened over a week ago, and nothing over a month ago. But this is an existential tale of aging, memory and relationships. The fantasy elements could be removed without changing much of the story. Axl and Beatrice could have been citizens of the 21st century wandering away from their Alzheimer’s facility.
This feels like a cautionary allegory, but I’m not sure what the reader is being cautioned against. Memories can be bad as well as good. If you peel off the top layer, the second layer may be worse. Well, duh. If you pick at a scab, you will probably bleed.
Don’t get me wrong, there was enough in the story to keep me reading to the end. I think Ishiguro chose the wrong time and place for his story. I liked Axl more than other reviewers seem to have done. He was fuzzy around the edges, but he never wavered in his devotion to his “Princess.” Unfortunately, Beatrice could have easily been an animal he cared for, for all the personality she had. I’m told the book merits a second or third reading. I won’t be wasting my time.
My mother is 95 years old. She’s a little confused these days because she doesn’t feel that old and she doesn’t understand that her body won’t do the things her brain thinks it should do. She stands up too quickly and falls down. She forgets to take her cane with her or she leaves it behind on purpose because she is afraid of leaving it wherever she is going. She is rather amazing. Osteoporosis makes her angry because she has done everything that the medical world has told her to do to hang on to her bone calcium, but it continues to leach away. We are increasingly betrayed by bodies that age before we do. She doesn’t like being told that she really is old. I don’t think I blame her.
My brain says I could run at least a mile. My body says I will break bones in my feet if I try. I just got a handicapped hang tag for my car – no expiration date. I’ll be right there with you all too soon, Mom.
I am going to begin the month with a 24 hour log of my diabetes activities. It will be interesting to see what happens on Nov. 1. I don’t know how to get off of the roller coaster that is my life, but I’m willing to bet that I will have perfect blood glucose readings on that day. I’d like to blog about diabetes 4 times next month. The library has MANY books on how to control diabetes. I’ll see what I can do to increase awareness of
1. A day in the life, and fund raising.
3. Changes in treatment possibilities
4. Service dogs.
I am absorbed in finding a new way to control my diabetes. I need a better way to be sure I am not going too high or too low and then correct in small increments so that I stay in the right range. I tried a CGM for a few months, but it drove me crazy with alarms. I’m seriously considering getting a diabetic alert dog or DAD (no, the dog is not diabetic.) A dog would wake me at night if I have rapidly changing blood sugars, It would make me check my blood glucose any time there is a change – and alert well before a problem would be noticed by the monitor. I’m sure the dog will drive me as crazy as the monitor did, but it will be insistent and nag me in a way that I won’t accept from my family or a machine. I will probably do a better job of watching my diet just to keep the dog happy and I will get in better shape because the dog will need to be walked. It will be a shelter/rescue dog so I will have some say in what breed I get. I need a medium sized dog – perhaps one that doesn’t shed because it will be in public with me at work. I don’t want to trigger allergies. I love the heads of German Shepherds. I have now looked at many sites that offer DADs. Most like to breed their own Labs or get them from breeders and train “starter dogs.” The price range and the waiting time vary as much as my blood sugars. I have decided to go with a group called Heads up Hounds. They use rescue and shelter dogs. I can’t find anything bad about them on line. They seem helpful and the testimonials match the BBB rating of A-. Does anyone know a person with a DAD that I could visit? Do you know anything I should know about this company or owning a service dog?
I have sent the deposit and have a fundraising site: https://www.youcaring.com/manage-fundraiser.aspx?frid=246421 Help if you can or spread the word.
Gathering Political Unease. I agree and I cannot say it better.
I never seem to write anything on this, my own page, because I spend so much time reading everyone else’s blog. I also contribute to several blogs for work. Such is life. Even though I don’t have actual deadlines, I feel the need to publish fairly frequently on the work blogs and this one gets pushed to he side.
Fortunately, I don’t have any followers. I’m going to collect a few funnies here as I notice them and then see if I have a post when I’m finished.
#1. There is a Verizon vehicle with a “this vehicle makes frequent stops” sticker on the back. What – they pull over & say, “Can you hear me now?”
#2 – From another librarian: Helped a patron locate book titled “The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth.” It was shelved immediately next to “F**k It Therapy.” I know which one I’D rather read!
#3 – The first book I glanced at today had the title “I Hunt Kittens” – at least, I thought it did.
The second was “Slow Death by Rubber Duck” I thought the first was just bizarre until I looked again & it was “I Hunt Killers.” OK – that’s better. I thought the second was a silly mystery title until I read the sub-title, “The hidden dangers of everyday things.” Not a mystery at all. They both went from intriguing to meh.
#4 – I used the key words” slow death by rubber” to pull up the above title: The Joy of sex was the only other hit with those key words. I don’t really want to know.
This is awesome. It makes me sad that we did not dress my father in death. My last sight of him was in his bed in pajamas. He was cremated and there was no viewing. Even though I witnessed his last breath, he always looked good in a suit. I miss him.