Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Neuron forests

I'm tempted to believe that Freud was right; in the thickness of night, the unconscious tries to articulate desire, to negotiate wish fulfillment.
Late last night, while awake, walking around a familiar corner, my eye snagged on a book cover: Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. A sigh pushed through me, like a sleepwalking ghost rushing through my wind-pipes, struggling for freedom. The same kind of sigh that might push through when a beautiful stranger walks by, the sound of their steps echoing inside.
I caught myself sighing, out-loud, looked back at the book cover, and the part of me that was sleeping told the part of me that was awake what I wanted: to travel through a forest of neurons. Is this how Einstein felt when he dreamed of traveling on a ray of light?
The text-book cover shows a photo, beautiful density of pink trunks, and branches, soft.

Do you know those photos of Einstein wearing flip-flops at the beach? He makes funny faces at the camera. I've always wanted to be there, to feel that sand. I spent my teenage years walking on the beach, by my house. I remember wondering when I'd meet that strange collection of people, who make funny faces at the camera and travel on rays of light. I imagined what it would be like to discover their backyard forests, junkyard rust, silent wishing-ghosts, haunted forests.
Sometimes I get frustrated with how much of my understanding of reality is tangled up in my imagination. But today, I feel comforted that all of my imagination is tangled up in attempts at understanding reality.

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