A memory plagued with holes rendered my creative apparatus impotent, and I retired within the year. It was by far the most difficult decision I’ve made. My colleagues provided support at a respectful distance as I pondered the end of a career, the end of a lifetime of designing and constructing. All I’d ever known was that I was alive and I was a builder. But that foundation was now gone, forcing me to discover something else, to be something else.
Brain damage due to seizures cast the world into a pall both surreal and morose. I maintained my office much as if working normally. It gave me an objective each day and held me close to the creative process. I observed my peers and encouraged them as I continued to lose clarity and understanding. At night idleness assailed me and I wandered the rooms of my home looking for anything of interest, picking books from shelves and walking about with them, reading aloud. I chose not to sleep but rather use my waking time searching those winter months for a new reason to live.