Clearly and obviously I am among the more dazed and confused. Can’t stay on topic. Short attention span. Where some, most it seems, see the path before them plain as day – even if it be one requisite of adroit maneuver – I usually can’t see my own fingers if arm’s at full extension.
Sometimes there’s something going on in my head that causes not a little distress. Though I’ve had florid (sober) hallucinations, I’ve have never heard voices and never lost a reality test (at least not one of which I was aware), but I have indeed felt the weighty presence of an uninvited emotional tone.
Makes me think of a couple of things. First the Russell Crowe/John Nash character in A Beautiful Mind. Like I said, I don’t have manifest imaginary friends but do occasionally have stuff I sometimes successfully banish to the periphery. A dismal succession of future events more often than a winning lottery ticket.
Secondly Julian Jaynes. I’ve previously mentioned his incredible book Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. The chief premise is that human preconsciousness was characterized by auditory hallucinations – voices -“gods”. Of which such things occurring here and now are vestigial traces. From barely discernable rumblings all the way to schizophrenia. Hmmm.
Maurice Sendak. Listening to an interview with him yesterday on that wonderful NPR “Fresh Air” program I heard him tell Terri Gross: “…which is what the creative act is all about. Things come to you without you necessarily knowing what they mean… when I was younger I was afraid of something that didn’t make a lot of sense… [but now I know that] There’s nothing to worry about.”
Maybe there’s hope. I do indeed agree that it can help to write shit down.
GROSS: Well, I’m really glad we got the chance to speak because when I heard you had a book coming out I thought what a good excuse to call up Maurice Sendak and have a chat
SENDAK: Yes, that’s what we always do, isn’t it?
GROSS: Yeah, it is
SENDAK: Thank God we’re still around to do it.
SENDAK: (Who’s 83) And almost certainly, I’ll go before you go, so I won’t have to miss you.
GROSS: Oh, God what a…
SENDAK: …It doesn’t matter. I’m a happy old man.
GROSS: I wish you all good things
SENDAK: And I wish you all good things… Live your life, live your life, live your life.
That’s going to be my New Year’s Resolution.
*If you haven’t ever listened to “Fresh Air” you are doing yourself a great disservice. Go to the website and listen to the podcast of this interview. It was played yesterday as an encore from September because it was the most commented upon interview of the 2011.