Lost for Words

Words I fear, are dearly departing.

Not permanently in a sinister, deeply sad early-onset Alzheimer’s sort of way. I mean temporarily. Going AWOL for a few minutes then reappearing with wanton abandon, casually, as though they hadn’t disappeared in the first place.

Their nonchalant “Gotcha!” reappearance can be while I’m in the shower, driving or performing some random task. They’ve been known to pop up while eating chocolate or while seeking out another word entirely. It’s that random – a game of hide and seek where they’re always doing the hiding.

It hasn’t always been like this. Words would momentarily disappear for long enough to say, “Ummm …” and back they’d pop. With dependable regularity. But now? They get lost in transit. They worm their way to the back of my brain and have a fat party before deciding to return.

In the writing game, this does not bode well. It’s not as though any old word will do. Sometimes it’s the elusive one that I want, not a stand-in imposter. So I increasingly turn to my online thesaurus which, while very sensible, is less dependable when I want something a little less mainstream. Maybe even a word in another language. Is that too much to ask?

Slightly encouraging is that there does seem to be some benefit in eating copious amounts of brain food. A quick Google search revealed that if I ate more fish, legumes, grains, low-fat dairy and fruit, I could be in with a chance. The Western diet, often high in fat, sugar and with way too much meat is a recipe for disaster. I’m assuming then that Paleo’s bone broth, high fat and carnivorous approach isn’t going to cut it. Personally, I would find it rather difficult choosing mind over cheese platter.

Heartening again, however, is that many experts simply put the odd touch of forgetfulness down to a tad too much happening in our brains. Too much to remember. Too many passwords and emails. Too many meetings, appointments and a tugging of our time. Too much work and not enough play.

By far the most comforting discovery, however, is that I’m not alone. I visited a friend recently who had a shrub of pink rose-like flowers in her garden. I told her how much I loved “magnolias … gardenias …” their actual name escaped me. They weren’t magnolias or gardenias. And they weren’t ‘pink flower things’ either (her offering).

It was a day later while driving in a completely different neck of the woods that it came to me. Suddenly, with no prompting; Camellias. They were camellias! Back home I texted the friend: “They were camellias! “, I said, adding a light bulb emoji for good measure.

“What???” she texted back, adding a confused emoji for good measure. The truth is, she hadn’t a clue what I was talking about.

Love us.