Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The unwritten life

Lately, I've not remembered experiences I've apparently had when they come up in conversation between mutual friends, things we either all did together or somehow shared, like a recent symphony extravaganza about the Barbary Coast.  It took me the longest time to figure out what they were talking about, and that I'd loved that whole evening---less than a month ago!

I used to either keep a private journal, writing down what I did and thought fairly often, sustaining my own story, or I'd make a blog entry here---less private, perhaps, but it too kept me actively knowing what I was doing with my life!  Now, when anyone asks what I've been up to I draw a mental blank.

It seems if I didn't put it in writing, it didn't happen.

To paraphrase Socrates/Plato: Is the unwritten life worth living---or even lived?  In my case, perhaps not.  It seems to me I've just been putting one foot in front of the other, no longer watching where I step.

This fall I'll be taking a course called, Once Upon A Brain: The Boundary Between Self & Story, taught by Thomas Lewis, M.D.    As he writes in the course catalog: . . . our identities are found in Story: from the (largely fictional) personal narratives in our memory banks to the culture‐defining stories in myths, stories tell us who we are. This class will examine what neuroscience can tell us about the nature of the Self, the nature of Story, and the interaction between them. Why do we think in story‐form? Why do we dream in stories? What is it about stories that make them the focal point of entertainment and art? Why do young brains have an insatiable appetite for story? 

And, if I wait too long to take a good look where I've stepped, my story can and probably will be rewritten ---not always a bad thing.

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