Bright white circle

I slept better, that is good. My Fitbit is dying, that is less good. It’s not bad, just less good. I have to put it on the charger every night now and that makes it more good for the day.

I was probably wake before six yet it was early enough to keep rolling over. Once enough light was coming in though the doorway (the windows are full black,) I rolled over and checked my phone and it was a few minutes before seven, so I got up and came downstairs.

Last night as I was going to sleep I had an odd experience. I was just thinking to myself (I tend to do this a lot, obviously,) about some of the many things that have been going through my mind this week. Big vague concepts that I haven’t put into words yet. For a moment, I came to some grand idea in my mind and I thought my right eye physically saw a bright flash of an unfilled circle maybe a foot across and in front of me (as my eyes were closed and I was resting on my head on my pillow while laying on my right side.) It felt like I had just pressed my eyeball against another eyeball and the circle was the intersection of the two spherical surfaces. I instantly told myself I should go to mass tomorrow and I did.

The thought in my mind at that moment was that I was wondering, now that I know what is going on inside of my brain and this is making me feel some confusion and self-doubt, as now I can process the difference between my feelings and thoughts from other people’s, what what I thinking and feeling then, before I could separate mine and theirs?

Normally, a babies (12 months,) brain that hasn’t developed “Theory of Mind” yet also has very little thoughts and feelings, they lack knowledge about reality, hence their reality is very small. That is not the case with myself, certainly the amount of knowledge I’ve accumulated could be argued in a hundred ways, however I think it would be an agreeable fact that I am aware of substantially more ideas, beliefs and feelings than an infant.

Thinking of all I know, I know (more or less, variables of memory, etc,) all that I have done in my life, all of my own experiences. I also have talked to so many poeple in my life, my siblings, friends, parents, step-parents, teachers, professionals, coworkers, constituents, strangers, the list could go on and on. Not to mention books I’ve read, concepts I’ve studied, dozens of rabbit holes on Wikipedia, the amount of TV, Movies, and other media I’ve absorbed in relation to the human experience. What more can I say other than… I’ve seen things.

Of course with all that, I’ve spent my life separating truth from fiction and trying to forget the ‘bullshit’ as I built my own personal library of knowledge that I can refer to when I need to think about my own next best steps forward in life. Not to say that my decision’s have always been best, only that at every moment (well, this could be reflected on too,) I did what I thought was best at that moment, as decided from my own current knowledge at that point.

Ahh, my own current knowledge, not the current knowledge that I knew other people held.

Now, in light of my current brain issues, what does that sentence really mean? Have I had access to other people’s brains to know at what ever moment what they were thinking? No.

My brain hold my knowledge. Some of my knowledge, I don’t always like how it makes me feel I suppose. That knowledge, in my brain, I label as belonging to someone else. However, it is still in MY brain- it must be MY memory, my knowledge. The voices in my head, all of them, they are me. When I am alone, all of my feelings are mine. When I am alone, all of my knowledge is mine.

What if… What if..  What would make my life most full? More experiences? More friends? More action? More humanity. How does one feel more human? What would be most human? What if my entire database of human feelings and human beliefs, were all mine? What if every story I every heard was my story?

What if I was every person I knew (every person I hold in my memories,) what if their stories were mine, what if their beliefs were mine, what if their feelings were mine? What if I couldn’t tell between my thoughts and the thoughts I previously ascribed to others? This is what the doctors seem to say.  What if I couldn’t tell between my feelings and the feelings I previously ascribed to others? This is what the doctors seem to say.

Laying in bed last night, in a moment I thought: What if I was the whole human story? And that is when the bright circle flashed in my right eye as if for a moment, I had just exposed my soul to God and He pressed his eyeball onto mine and I was filled with wonder and awe, and compelled to tell myself: Time to go to Mass. Then I fell asleep.

Downstairs just past seven, I started my day with my tobacco pipe (I know, I know, a less good habit,) as I began to collect my thoughts and think about the day, then I remembered my desire for Mass today and looked at the clock, seven twenty’ish. Doing my morning thing, basically nothing, just sitting in my chair, smoking and watching TV, then it was seven forty, then seven forty five.

See, the Church is about 300 feet away. There is Mass four times right there every Sunday at 8, 10, 12 and 5. If I drive a quarter mile up the hill, I could go to Mass at 9:30. I never rush to Mass anymore, technically, the last I checked my weekly Mass attendance is even “waived” due to my health. If I can’t go, I can’t go and I don’t go. When I have moment, and I tell myself to go to Mass, I go to Mass.

So I was always going to go to Mass, as soon as I got around to it. I looked up at the clock and saw it was 7:45 and I thought to myself “if I stood up right now, I could shower and still make Mass at 8”. So I did. As I was getting ready, I almost rushed a few times, then reminded myself it was okay if I was late, I’d make it plenty before the Gospel.

I walked in just a minute late, everyone was still singing the entrance hymn. Mass proceeded as usually until just after the Gospel, when from out of the sacristy popped Fr. Brian for the homily, as the rest of the Mass had been said by Fr. Chas.

Fr. Brian shared an amazing real story of his life.  Not much of anything else. Just… just a human story.

Now, that is one more human story I have in my brain, another human story to add to my great story of humanity.

After Mass, I genuflected myself out of my pew (and lets just say, it’s nice to be able to genuflect,) and walked forward towards the doors closest to my home (I have to walk around to the ‘front’ doors on my way in, yet on the way out I can take the ‘back’ door- which inside the Church, is in the front.) (Yeah, the front door of the Church leads to the back, the back door leads to the front… Something to think about there.)

As the pews emptied, a friend called out to me, Jack and his wife Joyce. We talked for a minute, mostly his joy with seeing me walking and my health updates and the conversation moved on as we were joined by Julie and her husband too. Sharing the results of my recent TBI diagnosis and some of the things that I have learned so far about it.

As I explained the concept and we all went on discussing it, we all started to see the “Theory of Mind” as an interesting topic. Once I explained how it is tested and shown in infants and children, we began to discuss the ramifications for adults in the real world.

At one point I’d said, “see, I don’t I’ve every told the whole truth” and Julie was the first to pick up on it “well of course” she said, “you would never have the time”.  And that is the truth. In the childhood test the answers are easy- is it pencils or candy inside of that box?

What if inside the box was labeled as a comfortable boring career and when you opened the box it was gambling your savings until you win the lotto? And when the test giver asks you the question as you open the box they say “Okay now inside, is this better or worse for your family’s social life?” Now, with ten seconds to answer what do you say? Gee is there even a choice? Obviously all humans agree on the right answer of my made up test, right?

Walking home from Mass, my neighbor Joey called out to me. Walking up to his door to chat, he invited me back for breakfast in an hour. Then home relaxed, back over to Joey’s for breakfast then home again. Not much else the rest of the day. Another day with no Vyvanse, a weekend break. Tired and sleepy, I went upstairs for couple hour nap. Then downstairs again to make dinner, then to come type.

A good day, tomorrow it’s time to get to work.  I want to see these books in my hands.

Time to rest.

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