Burn out is closing in on me. I’m not skipping my evening martini as I had thought about doing. I canceled trio today to have a bit more time off. Music and poetry continue to nourish me in this time, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. My bi weekly appointment with my therapist is tomorrow and while I’m not looking forward to reporting failure at moderating my alcohol intake I am looking forwarding to seeing Dr. Birky and talking with him.
Yesterday I bit on a Facebook ad from Granta magazine. They are offering a four issue digital subscription for $16. I have always enjoyed this magazine a great deal, finding excellent writing and interesting ideas in it. A digital subscription is a perfect solution for me since I don’t have to deal with being unable to discard old issues that I have enjoyed so much.
Like this one which is laying around somewhere:
I have been thinking about Lenny Bruce lately.
His acerbic wit is what I need these days. Michelle Wolf, the comedian who appeared at the White House Press Corps dinner is a mild substitute for Bruce but she is helpful.
I even found Lenny Bruce popping to mind as I read in Siegel’s Mind book.
I’m in the section where Siegel hypothesizes about mind function (and brain function) regarding top-down and bottom-up perceptions. He calls the top-down reasoning construction. This is where we construct our reality usually using words in our thoughts. We see a dog. We don’t really look at it. We just think it’s a dog.
Siegel had a terrible accident after which he temporarily lost his ability to do this. Instead he was imprisoned in only bottom-up perceptions which he calls conduit perception. He would get hung up in the experience of drinking a glass of water, the amazing bubbles and color and so on. I think he compared it to being on LSD.
Of course he ends up calling for a balance of these two. But when the top-down dealy is over functioning, asserting preconceptions without factoring in what’s actually in front of it, it reminded me of Lenny Bruce’s lovely little phrase “what should be is a dirty lie.”
He even sees this in some examination of brain function. Here’s a handy chart I found online just now.
He has a similar chart in his book.
I continue plowing through Sally Kohl’s The Opposite of Hate. I mentioned her to my boss yesterday. In response Jen told me about an essay that had influenced her along these lines by the writer Beverly Harrison, “The Power of Anger in the Work of Love.”
I couldn’t find the essay online, but apparently it’s in the above collection which I have just interlibrary loaned.
I need some time off, eh?