Sunday, June 15, 2008

BYBS: Borrowing the Will of the Ball

The 1990 movie "Awakenings," is about the experiences that Dr. Oliver Sacks has with people suffering from a rare type of catatonia. He discovers that they are able of responding to their environments in rather odd ways. For example, if he holds a tennis ball in front of their eyes and drops it, the catatonic patient will catch it before it hits the ground.

He describes this behavior as "borrowing the will of the ball."

In Alcoholics Anonymous, the members talk about a "Higher Power." They admit that they have no power over alcohol; how it is stronger then they are. They try and try, but are unable to avoid drinking; and when they do, they usually keep drinking until they pass out.

An alcoholic who manages to stay sober presents something of a mystery. Since the alcoholic admits that they do not have the willpower to stay sober, something else must be responsible. AA members refer to this as the person's "Higher Power." A Higher Power is often regarded as God or similar agency.

I thought about all this when I noticed that this week I had managed to stick to my gnome-inspired diet for the whole week. At the same time, I exercised every day. Most days for 60 minutes. 60 wonderful, joyous, happy minutes. As I will admit to anyone within earshot, I do not have the willpower to do this. But if I don't, then what is responsible?

In my habit of coining phrases for the mundane, I've decided to call this "borrowing the will of the ball;" thus paying homage back to Dr. Sacks. I have to admit that calling it a Higher Power sounds much cooler, but I'm afraid that AA members will beat me up if I do. Some of them are probably gnomez too.

My blessing for the week is the will… at least until I lose my fear of gnomez. Crafty little buggers…and they're always smiling.


Paulie said...

Interesting essay -- blessings!

SandyCarlson said...

Good for you for sticking with it!

CyberCelt said...

Congratulations! Dieting and exercising is an accomplishment. I think I would have a better chance of moving the tennis ball with my mind. LOL

stev said...


60 joyous mins daily huh. wow & good luck!