Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ear Drums and Intuition

I've had a cough for a month now, and three days ago I coughed forcefully enough to burst my ear drum. It isn't really painful, but I've lost a great amount of hearing in that ear. The Dr. says it should come back, as the perforation heals, but healing may take several months. The biggest inconvenience (other than being deaf in one ear) is that I get episodes of vertigo and nausea; on the other hand, it is nice to hear all my boys' crying and fighting at a muted level. I'm naturally keeping my voice down, too, because it is much louder to me now, inside my head. My neighbor put shock collars on his dogs to keep them from running into my yard or the street; my ruptured ear drum is my shock collar--if I raise my voice above a quiet, controlled tone, I pay for it. I think every frazzled mother should try it...

I've been reading a paper by Hubert Dreyfus, and it has me thinking about intuition. What is it? Where does it come from? Can it be developed or stifled? And what, if anything, does it have to do with the creative process? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Genius Insomniac

I believe this is the first time I have ever posted, just to post. So, if you don't like bloggers who ramble, hit the back button in your web browser, NOW.

So I'll tell you what's up with me. Over the past few weeks I have unintentionally developed a new habit, in place of some old ones. Insomnia! And, unfortunately, it has nothing to do with coffee or exercise or medication. Here's what's been happening: every night, no matter what time I go to bed, I sleep fitfully and wake at 5:00 A.M. My alarm is set to scream at me around 7, so when I wake, I lie in bed and try to go back to sleep. But I can't. I can't stop thinking. My brain fixes on a problem or a definition and I can't stop thinking it through, over and over, until I'm sure I've exhausted all possibilities and have left nothing out. Then I obsessively start the whole process, again. What makes this interesting is that I usually do fall into a sort of "wakeful sleep", and that really messes with my perceptions.

This morning, I was tossing around a philosophical theory, which I am sure is the key to the universe. It precisely and comprehensively explains the human predicament and much, much more. I do so wish I could remember what it was...I can tell you, though, that it was a sound theory; I tested it from every possible angle and against every possible situation--and it held like super glue.

My experience put me in mind of a Simpsons episode in which Homer asks God to tell him the meaning of life. God hesitates, but Homer insists that "after death" is too long to wait (even though God has just revealed that as six months). So, God caves in:
"Oh, ok... The meaning of life is..."
Cut to commercial. End of show.

Later this morning, I asked Scott if we had any aspirin (my arm was hurting from not sleeping on it). He started talking about Aspirin being a generic name, like Kleenex or Coke (in the South). What he said was: "Aspirin is the same as Kleenex and Coke".

Since I was about to give a logic lesson to Marshall, and I like to amuse him, I said:
Aspirin = Kleenex
Aspirin = Coke
Therefore, Kleenex = Coke
Kleenex is full of snot
Therefore, Coke is full of snot
Marshall thought this was funny; Scott sort of rolled his eyes.

I'll bet that was the grand theory I worked out, this morning.

Any tips on sleeping? Or on the meaning of life?