Each morning, my eyes open and I contemplate the ceiling before swinging my legs over the side of the bed and launching into the routine of my life. I do not think about much. At least, not until that first cup of coffee. I do enjoy the shower – the hot water and the relaxation it brings to some of those aching muscles – the unheralded signs of ageing that creep slowly over the body in these years. But with the coffee comes the first consciousness of the day. I often don’t remember what has preceded it. Poised in the moment, gazing out at the back yard through the kitchen window, I am informed of the dawning of the new day. Unlike Johnathan Swift, I do not contemplate living it, but it happens anyway. I think that is how it is with aphasia.
Some people I work with have told me that in their dreams, they do not have aphasia, and yet, they do not speak. They move through the dreams, hearing and seeing the people and events that populate them, but they do not give the experience words. When they wake, it is always a shock, they say, to find things as they were the day before, and not as they are in the dream. In living life with aphasia, it is necessary to re-experience it each day, with all of the past and future mixed in. I do not know how that plays out in the passage of real time days, but if my own dawns are like theirs, it is a slow realization of what is out beyond the window, and the warm liquid in the cup, and being present in that moment without much thought. Just living it.