The Doves released 4 albums, 7 if you add the compilations; we have 12. We have at least 3 copies of Abby Road, more Donovan than ought to exist in the world and 38 bananas in the kitchen. I am confident that as long as R is around I will never be out of tea.
R trusts the familiar and comforting; tea, bananas, Bob Dylan and apparently Donovan. I freeze banana slices, store tea, and struggle with all those albums in the living room. “We don’t need to get rid of the extra copies of Tea for the Tillerman, just store them in the other room” I suggest “But it’s a classic” R argues. “Yes, let’s keep one here and put the others away”, “Oh no, this is a good one, we need to keep it.”
Our neurologist calls this rigidity of thinking. A thought gets stuck in a rut and it can’t escape “we need bananas,” “Planet Waves” is a great album.” Other concepts cannot displace the entrenched thought, or even sit beside it. The world becomes increasingly less trustworthy and hard to navigate for someone with cognitive decline. These familiar foods, music and shopping habits bring comfort and a sense of competence.
Who in R’s generation is not comforted, or transported, by a bit of Dylan?
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young*
This comforts me even now. R has all of these things. His hands garden and paint, his feet hike and run, his foundation is here, with me, the records, tea and bananas. Perhaps the three album copies ensure the song is always sung.
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*Bob Dylan, Forever Young