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Dorien Grey

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Blogs by Dorien Grey

Mind and Body
7/19/2010 3:12:51 AM
When age begins to come between the seemingly inseparable team of mind and body, few really know how to adjust.

*****
From Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com)
*****

We’re inseparable, our mind and our body, yet each operates largely independent of the other. And while it is possible for the body to function without the mind (people in irreversible comas, considered “brain dead”, for example), the mind cannot function without the body. Even in the most extreme situations, like that of Steven Hawkings, the body continues to function even on a very restricted basis. But once the heart stops pumping, the mind of even the most brilliant of all men must also cease.

Humans tend to be ruled by the brain and dismissive of the body, and I have become increasingly aware of the fact as time carries us all closer and closer to the edge of the cliff. As you have noticed here many times, I too often bewail the gradual but irreversible deterioration of my body, and for many, the natural thing is to blame it and rail against it.

But I’m not angry at my body: it is doing, as it has from the moment of my birth, the best it can, and it has served me very well.

Physical changes are generally gradual, and creep up on us unawares; an ache here, a minor pain there, the awareness that things are somehow different from the way they have always been. But for some, like me, the change is more abrupt and therefore more disconcerting and even shattering. Were it not for my bout with cancer, which did such terrible—in my own eyes— things to my body, I may have continued to simply take my body for granted. (The act of swallowing, turning or lifting my head, or even whistling are things I simply took for granted: I’d done them all my life, and they were simply a part of me. It was only when, in the course of less than a year, that I became unable could do these elementary things that I really began to appreciate just what a wonder the body is and how very well it has served me. I am infinitely grateful for it, and feel true sorrow for what it has gone through on my mind’s behalf.)

The mind tends to treat the body in a cavalier way which can, and too often does, cross over from inconsideration to abuse. Granted, the body sometimes becomes complicit in this behavior. It is the mind that exposes the body to those first few cigarettes or those first few drinks or handful of pills. But soon and too easily the body usurps the mind’s control and becomes addicted, setting it spinning off toward destruction.

The health-conscious—those who consciously do everything they can to take care of their body and avoid going to the extremes of steroid and drug enhancement—may be able to somewhat forestall the effects of time, but can neither stop nor reverse it. It must be particularly hard for them to slowly change from what they were, just as it is for a vain beautiful person to lose their beauty.

Which once again brings me back to why I am compelled to write so much—and specifically so much about myself: because words are like hand prints in the concrete of time, leaving some small mark of the maker’s existence long after both the mind and the body of the maker are gone.

*****
I hope you'll come by next Monday for another posting. In the meantime, please stop by my website (http://www.doriengrey.com if you have a moment.


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