memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste … thus the opening words of a famous song from my youth – Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones.

Not particularly wealthy and of uncertain taste, I am an Englishman in late middle-age who, over the last eight years, has endured three brain operations to remove benign but aggressive brain tumours. For reasons, which will in time become clear, I have somehow managed to end up in an Old People’s Home in the north of Portugal overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

I didn’t survive unscathed however; after the second procedure (six years ago) I was left with what the surgeons rather euphemistically described as a slight deficit in my right side.

I couldn’t even sign my own name! Part of my rehabilitation therapy was to draw and paint for about an hour each day.

I also had lapses of memory and after a long while in a very dark place I pulled myself together – It’s sauve qui peut in this place (pardon my French), I thought – and began to tap out with one finger my memories in order to fix them in my mind.

So here, in this slightly strange and surreal place, I produced and (self)published my book THE WAITING ROOM.

What therapy! What catharsis! I can’t recommend it enough for fellow victims – your memories will lead you into rich meadows in which you may graze at will …


(Pardon my French)


Comments on: "Please allow me to introduce myself" (5)

  1. Tom,

    You are an inspiration to me and there is some synchronicity for me in your timing of this post.

    My MS has progressed rapidly over the past two or three years, frighteningly so actually,and sometimes I feel myself going into panic mode in my attempts to adjust.

    Someone posted a picture on WP done in pastel the other day and it reminded me of a technique I was shown while on a retreat a few years ago (an able bodied time!) where you cover the page in pastel colours then “push” your finger around the page merging colours and thus arriving (sometimes!) at some quite magical places! I did this for a while, made cards etc then abandoned it. That post on WP and your post here today has made me think of trying it again.

    I have been bemoaning lately the fact that not only do my right leg an foot not work anymore, it seems my hand has joined he conspiracy. So I am left with a few fingers on my left hand (apart from thumb which is riddled with osteo -arthritis and tendonitis with over use compensating for the right)

    An extra important factor here i that I have no talent to draw or paint so pushing colour around sounds good!

    Writing poetry is an amazing adventure for me and very therapeutic so maybe I can channel any leftover energy into pastels – watch this space! 🙂

    Your painting here is terrific – it is like a stained glass window.



  2. ana lima Guerreiro said:

    Querido Tom,
    Fico feliz relembrar através desta note a possibilidade de se ter recomposto , após muito tempo mergulhado num espaço muito escuro , ter tocado nas suas memórias e corrigi-las na sua mente….
    Já agora, é esta a imagem que tenho de si :
    Do aparente nada mergulhado na escuridão e silêncio deu-se o Big Bang !!!..o inevitável Caos que antecede a Ordem…depois , como se tudo soubesse o seu lugar , para onde se deveriam dirigir ,um a um, todos os elementos foram ocupando os seus lugares, correções aqui e ali ,( com muitos e renovados estrondos durante o processo,.) finalmente as côres despontaram em pastos ricos e imensos, convites primordiais , para quem um dia tivesse a coragem e se atrevesse neles pastar…..


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