Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cranial Pilot

All that we experience, all that we do, depends wholly upon a blind, deaf, mute glob of cells lodged between our ears.

I am fascinated by that marvel of nature, the brain.

Every murder and every war, every kiss and every cuddle, had its origin up there. We have our cranial pilot to thank for every book ever written, every building ever built, every fire lit and every song sung.

Despite its bony helmet,the brain is terribly vulnerable. Any number of chemicals, from caffeine to nitrous oxide, to a slew of natural hormones, can knock it around like a wimp on a football field. We still don't know why some brains go haywire and drive their associated bodies to do horrible things -- and how much of an effect that pyschological trauma, such as a childhood $exual assault, can have on how the brain will behave later in life.

My own brain has a minor peculiarity, a sort of logjam for which I have no explanation. I will be faced with some complex project, unable to wrap my thoughts around it, daunted by the conundrum, sometimes for days -- and then all of a sudden, the logjam breaks, the answer flows free and all I can do is wonder what took so long and why I couldn't figure it out before.