This is a love or gratitude letter. I write it but it is as if my mind is writing it, which is then always me, in short. It is also written by, if you like, the brain, which contains the mind. Whatever, you know what I mean. The mind writes it to the body.
I have never thanked you enough or maybe I have never just thanked you: thank you because if I exist, in a sense, I owe it to you. In many ways, to tell the truth. Normally I am so conceited that I think I can exist regardless of the rest of the body: I don’t care, I don’t question what I am made of. I am pure thought, I am immaterial. At least that’s what I like to believe or take it for granted.
Then one day I stopped for a moment to think. I had a moment, I was standing still (me, the mind) waiting for a flight. Sleepy because of the time, bored because of the wait, with no desire to do anything but stare at a spot in the void on the rain-soaked runway. At that point a thought dawned on me: I am here because of my body, it brought me here.
Then I imagined that the body was nothing but (which it is, also) a big structure holding a brain — which thinks it is everything and understands everything — and carrying it around. The body is a servant of the mind. Or rather: body and brain are servants of the mind, the body does, the brain operates the body, and the mind thinks of itself as being everything and not needing the other.
In short, one morning while waiting for a flight – as I was telling – a thought arises. In fact, an observation: without you, you, them (body and brain) I, mind, would never get around, I couldn’t do much.
This is a love letter to say thank you, to say that I finally realized that you do your work quietly, that you complain little or nothing (occasionally but rarely), that you can see the weight of gravity and age on you and yet you always function, making the conjuring calls in short, you are very efficient.
I repay you with my haughtiness, saying, “Mens sana in corpore sano,” and in the end, if I train (that is, if I train the body that carries me around) it is both because a machine needs to be oiled, checked, adjusted, cleaned and kept in order, and because the well-being I derive from it benefits me more than it benefits you, body. After a workout you are sore and aching, I am toned, happy, jubilant. I seem to give you much less than you give me, in short.
And I am sorry about that because it is only fair to give you credit and also because it seems to me that in the end you only take the burdens and not the honors: you toil, you age, you decay (except to be glowing, too, after struggling) and all to give me well-being and keep me plastic, snappy, energetic and creative.
In the end, I think that thought I had while waiting for a flight was sent to me by you. It was not signed but it was quite obvious that it came from you. I’m not criticizing, you did a very good job, it was needed. That notification (among dozens on my cell phone) had to appear in my mind saying, “Remember that you are here because of me. I don’t want to burden you, I just want to point it out.” I noticed: there is no other way to say it because it just is: if I can run, work, sleep, read, write, walk, photograph, eat, love, fight, wake up, drive, watch and then take a plane it is because, unquestionably, you allow me to do that, dear body.
So thank you, and take care. Also because if you were not well it would be a big problem, for you but also for me.
As they say, “We’re in this together,” which is kind of like saying, “We’re on the same boat.” And you are the boat, I guess. I can only decide where to go but how to get there and who gets me there is up to you. Thank you.