Those who look backward say that our life time is a blink, a twitch of an eye lash. To give perspective, our turn at mortality might be characterized as a bit of fog with no real impact on the issues of anthropology. This is it. Do it. Blink. The end.
Those who look forward say that our life time on earth is the blink to be followed by an eternity of one form or another. The values of our blink determine that eternal form. This is the tip. Do it well and become a forever reward.
My intention is to by-pass both perspectives. My blink is now, the now of response, the now of commitment, the now of gentleness, the now of giving back.
For several days I have forgotten most of what passes through the senses, have asked family to repeat because I focused elsewhere, and have even looked up to wonder how I came to this room, this task, this moment.
After writing about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I again realized the tremendous value of the comments made by you, Gentle Readers. Stories, observations, shared experiences compound to enrich and educate.
Two-Names and I are close in age but he has experiences that I cannot begin to comprehend. He tells me that the Government now categorizes PTSD as a 30% disability, sort of like being 30% pregnant, right? Can a woman suppress pregnancy 70% of the time? Could it be that the government determines that, at great personal cost, women and men with PTSD have the fortitude to suppress symptoms 70% of the time?
For a very long time the symptoms of PTSD were not in the system. Those suffering from the disorder had no way of defining expectations. They knew that they felt, reacted and responded in ways that were off the conventional mark. “A bit stranger” than most is an apt self description of a gentle-man who has had the disorder for decades. Through those decades, this gentle-man has lived a life that would read like a novel, caring, committed and self-directed to giving back through many channels, to honoring his belief in the value of every blink.
Another story of PTSD has a different form of pain. This veteran with PTSD self medicated into homelessness and severe alcoholism. Chance circumstance brought forced sobriety and introduced the veteran to another man who knows the value of each blink. This man bought the veteran needed medications, shared a meal and found a mental health professional willing to donate his services to help the veteran find a way out of the pain.
I remember listening to a man talking about the woman known as Mother Theresa. The speaker stood among the dying in Mother Theresa’s facility. He watched the Sisters bathe, feed, and tend those with a very short time to live. Often the dying would again soil themselves before the Sister could move on to care for another of those near death. When the man asked how these women could handle day after day after day of ministering to those who might die before an hour passed, the answer was a prayer. “Help me see the good in this person so this person can see the good in me.”
Now. Now is our time, our blink.