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Ostomy Memories in 3 Dimensions


IT OCCURRED TO ME THIS MORNING that I am living my life in three different dimensions.  There is REALITY, of course, where I am continually engaged in such simplicities as taking care of daily necessities like meals, my ostomy, relationships.  Then there is my IMAGINATION where I flit off, away from the diurnal grind, to play around with whatever fancy or fantasy occurs to me.  I am free to keep it or discard it, write it down or forget about it.  Finally, there are BOOKS, the handy, easy to handle written records of other people’s realities or imaginations.  Fiction or non-fiction, whatever genre the book happens to be in, it is this third dimension that ultimately improves my ability to function in the other two dimensions.  Other people, smarter than me, have recorded their observations and conclusions in their own unique way, and I happily learn from them.  Whether the writer’s chronicle exhibits as a novel or a memoir, a poem or a parody, it is exposing me to something that I otherwise would not have experienced and from which I would not have benefited.  I posted about war the other day, something that – due to my ostomy and 4-F classification – I have not experienced personally.  But I know about W.W. I from Erich Maria Remarque and Robert Graves; I know about W.W. II from Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller; I know about Vietnam from Neil Sheehan and Max Hastings.  Fortunately for me, my PTSD was only from ileostomy surgery, not the jungles of Vietnam, and the second and third dimensions helped me get over it successfully.  

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