All Five Senses
There’s some sort of problem in my left eye at the moment, the details of which I won’t bother to enumerate. Suffice to say it’s concerning enough that I’m going to see a doctor — something I almost never do. And then, one presumes, everything will be all right.
I couldn’t help, though, imagining what life might be like if everything wasn’t all right. (This is what happens when you take your gifts for granted; when the specter of losing one of them looms, you suddenly appreciate them as you never quite did previously.) I indulged in the morbid calculus of What If? What if I couldn’t see? What if I couldn’t hear? What if I couldn’t taste, or smell, or touch? If I was cruelly made to choose, which sense would I be willing to sacrifice to save the others?
It’s been said that men are visual creatures – which explains, among other things, their fondness for pornographic films with no narrative content. But as I type, the sound of Oscar Peterson’s piano playing and Joe Pass’s guitar strumming and Louis Bellson’s drumming and Ella Fitzgerald’s singing fills my office, and I know that if I were to go deaf I would have to summon every molecule of courage in my soul to go on with life.
Then I look at the garden out my window. I see the roses and the bougainvillea, the oranges and the lemons, the trees yearning for the sky. I see my beloved white dog sniffing the emerald grass while birds and squirrels cavort in the canopy above. And I know that if I were to go blind. . .well, the thought is too gruesome to bear.
I love my senses. I love the world they show me.
I love them all.
And after the doctor fixes whatever is presently wrong with me, I’m going to make sure I use and honor and enjoy my senses — all five of them — like we lucky fools ought to. Anything less would be a sin.