Monday, September 26, 2011

i'm bewildered by my brain

today i found out my forty-year writer friend steve suffered a massive stroke last may, right in the language part of his brain. with the help of his wife janice he's fighting to make it back (they expected him to die). he's walking and swallowing and learning to form simple words.

so i lay down on my bed and felt something intangible. then i realized, this is terror. lately, i've picked up a lot of stray facts: the brain 80% water, white and gray matter, about two and a half pounds. and it's doing all these things over which i have no control!

of course, if i were a supreme yogi, i could go into a trance and feel better. we're in trances all the time. take driving to san francisco. i can cover the whole distance without remembering anything but the conversation with myself, flashes of lightning in that underground lake. and there's always the caterpillar who couldn't walk when thinking about which leg to move first.

it's good we forget (the chinese believe we're blessed if we do). otherwise every moment would be added to another and recalling them all we'd soon be so burdened with the past, we'd crumble like a turtle swimming in jello. having met people with brain-damage i know it's the one way we can completely change our personality. why so frightening if we don't even know the person we used to be?

always, we've got things undone, i suppose that's it. when death is there, we're not, but we don't like treading the trail to meet him: pain, loss, the absence of independence. maybe it really is all about control. that being said, i offer this very interesting video from the TED site:

i've also been reading about steve jobs and trying out another apple product. here are drawings of my own brain done on his lozenge, not very flattering:
and related to the squishy situation in my noggin, three thousand lighting strikes bounced around the tower last week. did a short-circuit occur? am i no longer myself? all our thoughts electricity and water, what a concept!