Friday, December 09, 2011

Hitchens feeling a little down in the mouth . . .

(The New York Times)
Image from Vanity Fair

I read a poignant passage by´╗┐ Christopher Hitchens in a Vanity Fair article, "Trial of the Will" (January 2012), which he has written on his experience with treatment for his esophagal cancer:
I am typing this having just had an injection to try to reduce the pain in my arms, hands, and fingers. The chief side effect of this pain is numbness in the extremities, filling me with the not irrational fear that I shall lose the ability to write. Without that ability, I feel sure in advance, my "will to live" would be hugely attenuated. I often grandly say that writing is not just my living and my livelihood but my very life, and it's true. Almost like the threatened loss of my voice, which is currently being alleviated by some temporary injections into my vocal folds, I feel my personality and identity dissolving as I contemplate dead hands and the loss of the transmission belts that connect me to writing and thinking.

I'm no Hitchens, but on those mornings when I also feel a hitch in my style and can't type quite so normally as I'd like, when the progressive decline we call aging makes a premature visit just to remind me that it's out there lurking in my future, when I wonder how much time I've still got left to enjoy posting my right-hand thoughts for myself and the random reader who stumbles across these blog spots, I can almost find myself able to imagine how the man feels.

A bit morbid, I suspect . . .



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