Friday, January 1, 2010

The Measure of a Man

Okay, so maybe I ought to write something. It's an important day, after all. New Years Eve, 2009. It's some kind of a significant hallmark, or must be, I'm sure. There is a big difference between 9 and 10. Can anyone deny it?

Then again, I am less and less an observer of days, as the apostle Paul put it. And that's a good thing, right? Attaching a significance to numbers is tantamount to witchcraft. Right? Superstition, magical thinking. Be ye not conformed to the patterns of the world, for the world is passing away.

So it is, so it is.

I remember spending quite a long time on this subject last December 31st--the passage of one year to the next, that is. It seemed a natural time for rumination, summation--an accounting, a valuation, an appraisal of where I had been and where I had ended up. I was still fairly new to MS (funny how you can become old to a thing in the space of one year's time), and my feeling at that time was that the disease had changed me in some essential way, that it had become central in self conception. In short, it seemed important.

And so I have changed after all, now that I think about it--for MS no longer seems very important, or particularly pertinent, or even particularly interesting.

Why had it seemed so on December 31st, 2009?

Recently I watched a movie where aliens had come to earth and got stuck here (their ship broke down). These were a lizard like people, and not good for much--unusually stupid as aliens go. By and by, the main character in the movie (a human) became somehow infected and began to turn into a lizard himself. What was alien became little by little part of him--he sprouted jagged scales, claw like hands, a weird looking yellow eye. The infection, as it seemed, grew from within, like a cancer perhaps, or a leprosy, so that at last our hero had shed his human appearance altogether and had become quite fully one of them.

What was he in the end? A man trapped inside a lizard, or a lizard which quite incidentally had once been a man? Is this how it works: We are what we become? A lizard without recourse learns to live in his skin, for he is what he is. What would be the point of outrage?

Lizard like, I slither therefore into 2010--unaffected, unsurprised, all but unaware. One thing only do I note as new: An intense desire to find a new abode, in a hot, dry, humid land.

No comments: