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The bridge to somewhere

In to the Wind

November 7, 2013
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Creativity waxes. Creativity wanes. Words flow. Words get stuck in that nether land between midnight and morning, where visions dance, and moral debts are paid.

Perhaps it is the man is incapable of discerning science from art. Perhaps he is caught up in the structure and beauty of the language and struggles to dispense with primal fears that bind and block. Sometimes the words flow like an easy brook meandering through an orchard. Other times the effort is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall.

Perhaps too the man, incapable of seeing the world in three dimensions struggles with the idea that things as he sees them are not as others do. His two dimensional world is but a tease in the grandeur which is the reality of what others see.

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In amblyopia, visual stimulation either fails to transmit or is poorly transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain for a continuous period of time. While the eye tracks properly, and looks normal, the diagnosis is acute amblyopia. Animals (and humans) have two eyes in order to see things with dimension. If one eye doesn't work, the three dimensional world is flattened to a picture.

For a while, when I was in grade school, I was made to wear a patch over the good eye, in an attempt to make the bad eye strengthen that synaptic connection to the brain. As you might imagine, that didn't last long. No kid wants to be the brunt of ridicule and pirate taunts.

I am not complaining. Making excuses perhaps, but not whining. There is probably an association between the amblyopia and being spatially challenged, which I am. Face it, if your world is not three dimensional, then in your mind you have to create maps, and store them away for instant retrieval. If you aren't paying particular attention, and create that map, it is easy to get lost, or lose a car. I do. I have. Large parking lots give me fits. I try hard to create that mental map and file it, but have stumbled around like some old fool too many times trying to figure out just where I parked.

Perhaps too it is the benign cyst on my pineal gland a fairly recent MRA disclosed that causes both maladies.

Ren Descartes, you know, the "I think, therefore I am" guy, dedicated a lot of time to the study of the pineal gland. He said it was the principal seat of the soul. Claiming that since a person can never have more than one thought at a time, external stimuli must be united within the brain before being considered by the soul.

Perhaps I am making excuses. Perhaps it's easier to recycle thoughts and words and rebrand them as unique and satisfying. Perhaps too those things which make me passionate are waning. Maybe I just need an infusion of delight and glory to set the process back on track.

All of us have a tendency to think happiness is a destination, a reward. I try to remind myself that on these journeys, happiness is always possible, because it's generally a state of mind. You can make a conscious decision to be happy--or not.

In my idealized world, as I walk across that bridge which spans the gap between what I was, and what I hope to become, certain realizations come to me. The baggage, the extraneous items, the hurt, the guilt and all those things unpleasant lie behind, on the far side of the turbid river which carries life experiences. Each step, each paving stone atop the deck of that bridge is a lesson, a step towards the fulfillment I seek. Tentative steps at first have become bolder. I have widened my stride and quickened my step across that span which bridges the gap between creativity and rational thought.

That idealized panorama I glimpse on the other side is bigger, bolder, and brighter than from whence I've come; it drives, motivates and beckons. I look down, and then back and notice the texture of the pavers on the bridge. The pavers on the side from where I started are barely worn at all. Towards the middle they are well worn.

Many times I've tried to step off the far end of that bridge into the panacea of perfection, only to pause and retreat. The retreat is back to the middle and the allure of what is comfortable and predictable. While I can see the beauty of what lies on the far side, certain human frailties snatch me back to the middle of that bridge. This has happened so many times, there is a well worn course across the pavers, eroded by my own steps and hesitation.

One day I will stride with confidence and will not retreat. One day I will decide I will not stumble, I will not falter, and I will step off that bridge to the other side and be normal, just like you.

Until next time--

You can read past columns by visiting tamatoledonews.com and clicking on "view all" next to "Local Columns."

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2013 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at mike@aweiowa.com via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.

 
 

 

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