Sunday, June 28, 2015

Love and Dementia



June 28, 2015

Good morning, Friends,

This week has brought good things, including a new surge control system that (as has been explained to me) also serves as an alternate power source. I am grateful when I think that this new mechanism, minute by minute, day and night, provides an alternate energy source as needed, and protects my computer and its contents (including the computer’s relationship to a cloud!). This happens whatever the erratic weather conditions here in the foothills of the Rockies.

I am amused (and instructed) by my realization that this intricate mechanism about which I understand nothing is not affected by my ignorance. It continues to function according to its essential nature whether I understand it or not.

This seems to me a practical reminder to celebrate God’s insistence on His infinite freedom to function as God whether I understand Him or not.

I am thinking these days about the ways in which diminishment affects love and affection. 

Since the diminishment process alters personal choice, I am wondering. Does diminishment increase my hunger for love while, ironically, lessening my strength to choose to love and be loved? 

Or—grimly possible—decrease the love that others can feel for me? [Verb deliberately chosen.]

Shakespeare wrestled with this aspect of human relationships from many angles in both his plays and his poetry. For example, look at the conclusion he reached in Sonnet 73.



SONNET 73
That time of year thou mayest in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs that shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou sees’t the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d by that which it was nourish’d by.
          This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love
            more strong,
          To love that well which thou must leave
ere long.

Do you agree? I am trusting that you got past the old Elizabethan verb forms.  
 
Thinking with you that this issue is complicated for many reasons, not least of which is the way in which inevitably the relationship between love and respect surfaces. 

If dementia reduces the respect you have for my cognitive processes, does this diminishment reduce love, your giving or my receiving—or, conversely, my giving or your receiving?

See you next week.


Gay





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