Right Brain, Left Brain

Has anyone out there read the book, My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD?  Dr. Taylor was a brain scientist who, at age 37, nearly died one morning from a massive stroke in the left-hemisphere of her brain while she was preparing to leave her house for work. Fortunately, as a brain scientist, she had a sense of what was happening to her and she was able to alert a co-worker via phone to come and help her. She spent the next eight years of her life recovering from this onslaught on her brain.

stroke of insightOne of the things that Dr. Taylor got in touch with both during the stroke and afterwards was the miraculous power of the intuitive side of her brain. The right side was not affected at all by the stroke. There in the vast, intuitive side of her brain, she was comforted by a sense of peace and complete well-being. It was only the logical and sequential left brain that made a judgment on her situation and sought help. Thank God for that. Without that organizing part of her brain, she might not have had the wherewithal to call for help. While her right brain comforted her and allowed her to know that consciousness is large and eternal, her left brain wanted her survive in the practical world, not drift peacefully into eternal bliss.

I mention all this as I think back to the fact that just three weeks ago today, I awoke in the middle of the night (2 a.m. Thursday, June 19) with the distinct urge to go to the ER. After three days of the worst headache I have ever had, I figured something must be terribly wrong.

I did have that pesky little blood vessel that burst in my sub-arachnoid, but there was no continued leaking of blood, no aneurysm, no stroke. There was nothing so serious that it would warrant eight years of recovery for me as I would learn to eat, walk, read, talk, and recognize my family members once again. This is how it was for Dr. Taylor. But she survived, recovered, and wrote an amazing book about her experience.

One of my favorite parts in the book is when she describes what it was like the first time her mother came to see her in the hospital soon after the stroke. Dr. Taylor reports that she did not know it was her mother. She did not even have a concept for “mother.” All she knew was that she was lying down and this completely loving energy entered her space and laid down next to her and held her. She felt completely loved and protected. This is how a mother’s love must feel to a baby before it has language. Love in this form cannot be described or explained. It is only experienced. Remember that.

Today is Thursday, and in the world of Frying the Onion, you know what that means. I am thinking about Georg. I sold his truck last night to a friend of my son’s. The truck is not sitting out in front of my house any more. My street looks empty. I have known the buyer since he was a little tyke in kindergarten. Now he is 16 and can buy and drive his own used truck. How about that? In a weird way, even though I can’t see the truck outside my window anymore, I feel like it is still “in the family.” Not unlike my father. I can’t see him, but he is still right here.

Georg would be the first to say that time marches on and things change. He would say eternal bliss is good, but so is organized functionality. It is good to be peaceful and still, and it is also good to work hard and earn enough money to buy things like trucks.

Today, may we all enjoy both sides of our brains as appropriate.
Bliss and functionality, working hand-in-hand.
Seriously, what more could a brain ask for?

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