The title of this posting is my latest attempt at using a double entendre (a word or phrase with two meanings). It is also an attempt to get back to my former self. As I conceived the idea for this posting, I was well aware of the concept of a word with two meanings. I used to have a reputation as a great punster. A punster likes to play with words, and is usually considered a master of the double entendre. However, this past week I had to Google “word with two meanings” to find the phrase “double entendre.” That particular phrase was not coming to me.
Due to my battle with aphasia, I lost some of my ease with words. Many times when I am searching for a word, I feel like I am in a cold, dank and dark coal mine, bent over on my hands and knees crawling into the small crevices of my mind. When I get to the back of a crevice, I have to painstakingly claw through the mother lode of words that I find there with a small pick and shovel for words to express my ideas. Although the images of what I want to say are very clear in my minds, the words I need to use to express those ideas are compressed into the hardened walls of my mind.
At other times, almost the opposite occurs. I find words or ideas jumping into my mind like Asian carp jumping out of a stream into boats when the stream is disturbed. However, just like the Asian carp, once the words or ideas are in my mind, I don’t know what to do with them. That’s why I carry a small notebook with me at all times, so I can write down these words and ideas, so that I can return to them when I am in a better position to do something with them.
The double entendre that I was trying to use in this posting is the phrase a deux. The first meaning of a deux comes from a French idiom for the phrase trong>pas a deux, which means a dance for two. I believe the relationship between a patient and caregiver very closely resembles a dance for two. I will follow-up on this idea in another posting.
The second meaning of a deux comes from the cinematic scene. Ever since the movies “Hot Shots” and “Hot Shots—Part Deux” became box office hits, Deux has come to be associated with the idea of a sequel. At this level, I mean for this posting and any other follow-ups to be sequels to my earlier posting “Gazing into the Abyss.”
In movie parlance, the word sequel can itself be a double entendre. A sequel can be a continuation of the first movie, picking up the story where the first move left it, or it can be an amplification of the first story. I intend my sequels to be amplifications of the original posting. Oops, I let the cat out of the bag–there will be more than one sequel.
As a result of the posting Gazing into the Abyss, several individuals have commented that I led them to the brink of personal abysses and left them looking into the black hole of themselves. That is definitely not what I intended. What I was trying to say in the last paragraph of the posting, was that one of the most important things I can do is stand on the edge of the abyss waving a yellow caution flag and yell: “Stop gazing into that abyss, or else it might start gazing back into you and begin to draw you into it.”
I am not alone in this task. Fortunately, through the close-knit communities of patients with aphasia and epilepsy and their caregivers, I have encountered a number of other individuals or groups that are working diligently to wave yellow flags and warn others. In several follow-up postings I will highlight two such individuals, Rea and Tara, with their respective blogs “Bendedspoon” and “Findingstrengthtostandagain.” I will also do follow-up postings about two organizational or group blogs or websites. In case you can’t wait to get a head start on these last two categories, they are Aphasia Corner at <www.aphasiacorner.com> and the Epilepsy Foundation of America at <www.epilepsyfoundation.org.> (If you check out aphasicorner.com I invite you to read my essay that is featured in the lower right hand corner of the front page and also available at <http://aphasiacorner.com/blog/living-with-aphasia-2/aphasia-friendly-words-are-more-like-cats-than-dogs-274>