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Liberating the Right Brain

brain curves from pixabay

It happened again, on the night before Christmas.

I couldn’t remember where I put my phone charger. I’d been clearing of the table for Christmas Eve dinner, feeling frustrated because of all the clutter, some of which was mine, and I put the charger in its case, but couldn’t remember where I put the case.

I looked and looked with the logical, left-brain kind of looking, which doesn’t always work so well. But when I stopped thinking about it, my body took me to right where the charger case was in the kitchen. Supposedly, I went to the kitchen for something else, after giving up on the charger. I’ve had this happen several times over the past few years – when I stop looking for something, my body ends up taking me there, because my subconscious mind knows exactly where I put the thing I lost.

It’s like when you can’t remember a word or a name, but then it comes to you when you think about something else.

Our minds change as we grow older. Some types of memory can deteriorate, and some things can grow stronger, like wisdom and spiritual awareness, and in my case the urge to create art. I just hope I’m not getting that dementia I heard about on the NPR Radio Lab podcast,Unraveling Bolero.”

The story is about Anne Adams, the scientist turned artist, and her fascination with Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. Both Adams and Ravel had a type of dementia that effects language, and in each case, the condition was preceded by years of intense creativity. What I remember from the story is that in both people, the frontal and/or temporal lobes, very important for language, deteriorated making way for, or, as the Brain article states, “liberating,” more creative abilities and the compulsion to paint or compose masterpieces until eventually the dementia got so bad they became incapacitated.

(For a scientific account, click here in: Brain, a Journal of Neurology.)

The story was depressing yet fascinating and reminded me of this thing that happens when I stop trying to figure out, in a logical/linear/left brain way, where I put something, allowing my intuitive/subconscious/right brain to take me right to it.

Sometimes logic can get in the way of magical mystery tours. But I don’t want to forget where I put my words, so I’m going to start doing crossword puzzles- or maybe I’ll learn Spanish when I retire!

Here is Ravel’s “Bolero”:

 

(The top image from Pixabay. My right brain liked it.)