Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Benediction

This is one for the rest of you. Those who feel no sense of accomplishment or relief at your freshly buttoned shirt. Those who order soup without a tactical plan to ingest it. Those for whom keys find their way into locks and whom keyboards meekly obey. Those that rise still blurry-eyed from sleep, fumble for a light switch, ease on your slippers, and pad down a hall without hesitating, without false starts, without halting and without waiting until the mysterious force that holds you releases you, just as mysteriously.

This is for those that can smell breakfast cooking. Those that can crack an egg, and peel an orange. Those who idly throw a switch, walk the dog, phone a friend.

This is one for the rest of you. Those not awaiting the next blow. Those not wondering what new humiliation will be visited on them by a mindless yet fiendishly creative disease. Will it be a strand of drool that slides from your mouth? A slur in your speech? A stumble in your stride? A covert stare? An averted glance?

You are out there, are you not? Those who, at every slip of memory or momentary loss of balance, don't ask if this signals the start of some new phase of loss. Those who have no doubt about their sovereignty in the home of their own body. A body that doesn't clench unbidden, or beat restlessly of its own accord. A body that doesn't require a carefully sorted and gauged supply of pills in order to perform approximations of the simple tasks of life.

Are you listening, those for whom disease has not become habit?

This one is for you. This one is a fervent wish that you glory in the miracle of unconscious coordination that is the not-so-simple act of rising from a chair. That you revel in your ability to casually scribe a clear, spontaneous line. That you take joy in your certainty that your hand will obey when you command it to caress or create. That you thrill at the arc of your speech as it cuts a bright path to the ear of your listener. That you live a life informed by the realization that there is no "ordinary".


amom said...


Bob Kuhn said...

Well said, Peter. For all of those who cannot really understand what it is to be one of us. Ask not for whom the bell tolls... John Donne was right even if he didn't know about PD.