August 24, 2004

On Blindness and Lunacy

I dare not put what I am most afraid of into words. In order for it not to overwhelm me it must remain nebulous and unacknowledged, forever at arm’s length from my conscience. In as much as I am willing or able to articulate it, my terror is manifested in the fear that if I ever really fully comprehended the futility of life, or the all consuming eternity of nothingness that both preceeds and follows it, then I would descend into utter madness.

Put more rationally, I am afraid of going mad. Not that my family has any history of insanity that ought to worry me so, but I have watched Alzheimers consume the mind of one of my most dearly loved kin, and now and then, especially in the night, I am stricken with an unspeakable terror at the fact that my mind might be undone, despite my best possible efforts to maintain it.

Getting old in itself does not bother me. The thought of becoming a respected elder who need no longer concern himself with accumulating experience upon experience is something to be relished. One suspects, however, that this desire might not be unrelated to my fears. What if, I am forced to ask myself, my psyche succumbs to a sickness that forbids me to take pleasure in my wisdom? Ah, terror upon terror. Who would wish to live so long as to experience the mind’s retreat into an abominable all-annulling infancy?

Then there’s going blind. I can imagine living without any of my senses except sight, and although not generally squeamish, tales of unpleasantry involving the eye are almost certainly not for me. Trust me, I’d never encourage anyone to look at this picture from Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel’s surrealist classic, Un Chien Andalou.

Finally, there is fear of the abyss that is an empty comments box, on the edge of which one teeters, terrified at the thought of falling, falling, falling into silent unheckled space.

Doctor Pockless

5 thoughts on “On Blindness and Lunacy

  1. Yes, going senile is one of my greatest fears, also- as is watching either of my parents losing their marbles. My mum has made all of us promise that if she ever starts losing it we are to push her off a cliff- that’ll be tough.
    Blindness…..actually, I fantasize about being blind a fair bit- it’s terrifying, but I think I could still eke some joy out of life, God forbid.

  2. Ideally I’d like to enjoy all the silliness of senility without the impaired mind… That doesn’t seem likely, though.
    And by the way, I found a clip from Chien Andalou here. Not while you’re eating lunch, mind you.

Comments are closed.