I got my hair cut (long overdue) the other day, and decided that one reason why I wait so long between cuts is to avoid the ordeal of having to stare at the portrait of Dorian Gray in the mirror. My Dorien, bless his ever-protective heart, assured me that it is not a mirror, but a window into the next room, where my barber’s identical twin was working, with synchronized movements, on a much, much older and terribly unattractive customer.
Each of us has our own way of coping with the world, and Dorien is, to a large extent, mine. I’m truly grateful to him for helping me bail out the leaky little boat of my life.
Those whose boats ride high in the water, not constantly preoccupied with the little swells of annoyance and frustration that eternally threaten to swamp those with gunwales almost at the water line, may have little need for a Dorien to help with the bailing.
I deeply admire those who simply live their lives and go about their business without the continual distraction of wondering why something is the way it is, or who can simply ignore the ignorance and stupidity of the world. Each of us possesses a degree of egocentrism to be used when occasionally wondering about our role in life, and help serve as ballast in stormy emotional seas. But some were given an excessive amount, so large as to be disruptive to normal functioning in the world. I am one of those. And for those like me, I strongly recommend a Dorien.
Everything, of course, is in the mind, and to create a Dorien requires a bit of practice. It’s very much like one of those optical illusions one sees from time to time, like the classic black-and-white silhouette in which one sees either a vase (the white) or two faces facing each other (the black). One element is “Dorien,” the other is “you”…and it really doesn’t matter which is which.
Dorien not only helps me cope with things, but is rather fun to have around. You can give to your Dorien whatever parts of “you” you wish. Roger, again, is largely my body, Dorien my mind. Roger pays the bills and moves about and goes grocery shopping and mans the oars of our little boat. Dorien is therefore totally free to do whatever strikes his fancy. He sits in the back of the boat and writes blogs and books.
This division of responsibilities has proven very effective…for me. While I was dealing with my bout with cancer, it was Roger who underwent the radiation and the chemo while Dorien told him stories and kept assuring him that everything was going to be all right. And it was. I’m sure the outcome would have been the same had Dorien not been there, but I am glad he was. And then, as now, Dorien’s greatest contribution to my life is in never allowing me to take myself too seriously.
The need for a Dorien is not so great for those who have another, separate human with whom they can share their life, but for those of us who do not, a Dorien can help to create a sense of balance. In my own case, whenever I do or say something totally stupid, something I immediately regret and curse myself for—which happens far too frequently—it’s Roger’s fault, and Dorien can look at it with a degree of objectivity Roger cannot. In such cases, when Roger is consumed with fury or frustration, Dorien is the voice of reason. And difficult as it may be for someone without a Dorien, it really works.
If you don’t have a Dorien but need one, just open your mind. He’s there.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from UntreedReads.com and Amazon.com; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/Audible.com: