Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taken for Granted

“Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted”
~ Aldous Huxley (English Novelist and Critic, 1894-1963)

Over the past few days I have been deeply reflecting on the basic abilities that we take for granted. It has become so automatic that we no longer realise their existence and even far less do we appreciate them. The brain is indeed a beautiful and magnanimous organ and without it life would cease to exist. It controls all our daily functions even if we do not consciously make effort to do so.

One such function it co-ordinates with precision is “movement”. Not just any erratic movement but systematic movement. It enables us to walk, stand, sit or even simply to hug one another. Can you imagine not being able to control your limbs at all? It would be alien to some to even understand what this meant. This would mean to experience pain and difference in temperature yet to not experience the sensation of touch. I was recently shown a documentary on the life of Mr. Ian Waterman. Indeed what a remarkable man he is not for what he has but for what he has done with his life.

Ian Waterman

Ian from his neck downwards has lost sense of where his limbs are and control of his movements. In fact he feels pain yet he cannot sense the position of his limbs in space. Ian has lost his propioception. Propioception is defined as the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. Ian suffers from acute sensory neuropathy. He is not paralysed but such a diagnosis would leave one very limited in motion and usually bed-ridden or confined to a wheel chair.

However, Ian walks, stands and gestures with significant precision more so gestures like any average human being with propioception. How is this that he is able to defy the odds and perform the almost impossible? He plans his every movement with the aid of sight. Can you imagine thinking out every single movement we had to do in order to do it? Ian is completely debilitated without light as he cannot see where his limbs are. His sight and immense brain concentration is how Ian gets through normal tasks that we take for granted.

What was even more discerning was that Ian was not always like this and he once was a normal thriving young man with absolutely no ailments. It is still unsure of how his nerve fibres for propioception were damaged but it is thought it all began with a cut. Ian worked long hours at his family’s butcher shop at the age of 19 where cuts were normal with the high usage of sharp instruments. However, this time it would prove life changing as most likely a virus entered into his system via the cut opening. It is still unknown why the virus did not destroy all of his nerve fibres but it is speculated the nerve fibres for propioception may have resembled the virus itself and the body’s immune system began to attack and destroy them.

With sheer determination to not be confined on a wheel chair, Ian now walks without aid and carries out daily life just as any of us would except he does so in a very different way. Remarkable? Indeed it is!

Watch His video here...

The man who lost his body - Part 1

For the other parts:

Part 2
Part 3

Part 4
Part 5

Blogging with purpose,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reply to Your Duel

I would like to share this reply that I had written to "someone's" poetical duel. For reasons of anonymity I will refer to the person who had originally posted the duel as Curry. Of course the reply was written by me as I stated before and my identity is apparent. Hope you enjoy and do share your reactions!

The Actual Duel

Challenge me to a duel,
make it worth your while,
I tell you 'bring every tool,
'and all of your style.
Make a thought more effective than me,
attempt flawless execution,
disguised it as divine strategy.
I find myself without direction.
I wonder if there is someone who can lead the way.
Perhaps the only guarantee is that there are none,
and cold,
emotionless initiative will save the day.

It feels like there is something missing, and this.. this is precisely how I feel. This poem has direction and none at the same time.. and it is complete yet incomplete all the same.
I challenge everyone with an idea to bring it to life. This is a competition to see how much good you can do with your mind and initiative alone.
Happy New Day.



This was my reply...

In accepting this poetical duel,
I contest one's ability to remodel,
Shift the focus to do lyrical battle,
Attempt to camouflage your previous babble,
Twas fate this muddled riddle,
Should fall upon the doorsteps of a maiden able,
Remedy the ambitions of an unfinished castle,
Promising to effect with exact schedule,
Whilst dull abandon adorns this yielding knight's table,
Circular thoughts never cease to baffle,
Non-sensical rhymes born from blissful idle,
Directions lost is but a school boy's fable,
Chasing one's own tail to a canine's waggle,
Bewildered by the anonymity of his rival,
Dormant thoughts strewn over the silent verbal,
Insatiable thirsting plagues a conscious mortal,
To a missing fate lies the secret to denial,
Ample response given to an ineffective oral,
Exposing the ever flawless execution's betrayal,
Creative amusement summated my arousal,
In spirit of sportsmanship I remain civil,
Though objectively seeking to prove one's effort trifle,
Pardon me for my undue taunting jostle,
Seeking completion is a lifelong hurdle,
To endure patiently is sufficient vigil,
I humbly bid farewell hereby ending my response to your duel.


Blogging with purpose,