I was sitting here a moment ago having my afternoon cup of coffee and chocolate covered donut (one of my primary sources for calories) and found myself having to painfully pry my mouth open with my free hand far enough to get the thickness of the donut into my mouth. I was not happy, but Dorien found it very amusing. And in that small incident lies a partial explanation of just why there is a “Dorien and me.”
I have increasingly found myself to be a rather distinct trinity (hardly in the biblical sense, I assure you): physical, mental, and…well, Dorien, who both bridges and transcends the other two parts. Each part has its own distinct function. My physical “third” is solely concerned with maintenance and upkeep of the flesh, bone, muscles, and organs. It doesn’t have the time or need to think much, but it has served all three of “us” amazingly well over lo, these many years.
The “mental” third is in charge of those aspects of daily existence not directly under the purview of basic body functioning, though it shares some responsibilities with my body such as eating and dressing and scratching where it itches. It tends to be unrealistically set on itself, and I am ashamed to admit that it is all too often dismissive and sometimes almost contemptuous of my body. It cannot or will not accept the notion that as my body ages, I simply cannot do those things I once did with such ease. (“Look!” my mind tells my body. “He can run: he can turn and lift his head; he can open his mouth wide enough to eat a double-decker hamburger! Why can’t you?”) My mind knows it is cruel and unfair to do so, but it can’t help itself. And my body just goes quietly about its business. It is well aware of what my bout with cancer did to it, and it grudgingly accepts it even though my mind will not. It knows I am lucky just to be alive.
And Dorien, bless him, remains removed from it all. Totally free of physical limitations or restraints, he can and does do anything or be anything or go anywhere he wishes. Dorien is everything my body and mind want to be and am not. Into his safekeeping my body and mind have entrusted the majority of my hopes and dreams, my faith and fantasies. It is Dorien who provides the imagination for my writing. It is Dorien who creates the stories—my body merely types them out. My mind…that part of it which is separate from Dorien…truly takes great delight in watching what appears on the screen, and is often totally unprepared for what shows up there.
All three parts of me share great concern and infinite regret in the realization that while Dorien could, and I hope will, live forever, my body, again, is subject to all the laws of the physical world, and the years, however hard we fight, do take their toll. It is a battle we all must eventually lose, and my mind knows all too well that when my body dies, my mind, like the captain of a sinking ship, must go down with it.
Death does not frighten me: it never has, for I know that, as I’ve said so often before, it is merely a return to the nothingness from which it emerged. But oh, the thought of everything I shall miss: the people, the sunrises, the fun, laughter, and even sadness…everything that makes us all human and alive….
So I constantly remind myself of what a marvelous gift life is, and try to treasure every second I am given, for as long as I may have it.
May you do the same.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from Untreed Reads and Amazon; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/Audible.com: