Thursday, 28 February 2013

Do you... mind?

Do you ever notice how your mind literally is never in the same way? I don't mean biologically speaking, as in the daily rise and fall of synaptic dynasties. I mean the way it... feels to you. 
Do you sometimes wake up and feel in a way you didn't expect? Like something was a bit off but you can't quite work out what, or why?

Maybe it's what we can call being in a different mood. But... what is mood? What makes you kind and cheerful one day, grumpy and irritable the next. And who does that make you?

I keep hearing these stories about individuals who become a "different person" after brain damage. Even with all their memories and abilities intact, people's "personalities" can change dramatically. For example from a pedantic prude they turn into a sexually liberated loud-mouth.
Why this is at all surprising, given how much we oscillate in the way we are in our day to day lives, eludes me. 

Surely if you just think about it,  what you think is you, that is only IT right this moment. Right now. Because how you respond and view everything around you is shifting all the time.

Isn't that fascinating?


So right now I am in my curious, pondering mood. I'm imagining things vividly, I feel like making things. This often happens when I'm procrastinating something I don't want to deal with. And by often I mean always. But I know, from experience, that this mental wave will ride itself out. In a few days I will look back in distaste at how I spent my time, at the things I wrote and drew, and will bemoan why OH WHY didn't I get on with the dreadful stupid boring thing earlier. Why did I waste all this time when I could have been writing my CV while cooking a balanced meal while riding an exercycle?!?

I suppose there are too many details to keep track of, so for most part we move seamlessly through our incarnations. Our attitudes to things, the measures of positivity and negativity, levels of excitement and anxiety rise and deplete largely unnoticed. 

Recently stress at work has been piling up. But I didn't quite realise that it was affecting me until I came back home one day to my cat sneezing every 2 minutes. Cat snot all over her furry little face. Who even knew cats got colds?!? In response the first thing that sprang to my mind is that she's got cat AIDS. Yep. Must be. But... waaaait a minute! Not only is it not a very reasonable conclusion, but also one I wouldn't have made at all a month ago when, incidentally, the fabric of my life was weaved through by the promise of a lovely holiday, and not stupid deadlines.


I have these wonderful, Proustian moments whereby a trigger (the sound of a helicopter passing by, the taste of Polish ham on a buttered piece of sourdough, the way the air smells at the very beginning of spring) sets off an explosion of feeling, of a shape of mind from years gone by.
Like, how fabulously weird is it to walk around a city you've not been to for almost a decade? And then out of the blue the wind hits some lemon tree and it hits your nostrils at the same time as the sky (the sky looks SO different on the other side of the world!) turns golden, and your hands are cold in your pockets because California always tricks you into believing it is warmer than it looks, and you... you sort of "remember" what it was like to be you a few years ago.
For a split second you feel what your mind used to feel like. The flavour of your hopes and worries forever entwined with the smell of sidewalk citrus, the deep orange glow of a San Francisco sunset and the discomfort of your freezing peripheries.
It is not deja vu.
It's your brain's version of time travel.
I love it.

God, I hope she doesn't have cat AIDS...


1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant, and SO TRUE.
    Also there has been cat lurgy going round recently (honest) so it's probably fine. My colleague at work also works at a vets and she says just treat her like a person with a cold, lots of fluids etc. and if it gets worse or is still there after a couple of weeks take her to the vets for antibiotics (which, annoyingly, you cannot buy in shops). Good luck!