morning head: Wednesday, 15th July, 2015
The miracles of the brain’s resilience are manifold. Having a kid is a little like being Phineas Gage,
…an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe, and for that injury’s reported effects on his personality and behaviour over the remaining twelve years of his life—effects so profound that (for a time at least) friends saw him as “no longer Gage.”1
A report of Gage’s physical and mental condition shortly before his death implies that his most serious mental changes were temporary, so that in later life he was far more functional, and socially far better adapted, than in the years immediately following his accident.2
Now the wifey and I might differ very slightly on how large an iron rod our son has driven through my brain, and I’m not at all certain I’m going to get any more functional or socially well-adapted the further through life I go.
I am certain, however, that despite the great big hole in my head through which all manner of details fall, that I retain some capacity for repair.
Case in point: I have a submission deadline today. I have been mulling over this particular story for several weeks now, daily getting slightly more anxious that the deadline loomed, I had not put a word of it to paper, and despite my rather extensive reading on the subject of inspiration, really had no fucking idea where I was going with it.
Yesterday, some 40 hours after the wifey removed the iron rod from my head, and took him out bush with her, I banged out three quarters of the story without really having to think about it, and left myself with the final paragraphs and a clear line of sight to the end to write today.
This might be the first deadline I have not blown in… ever.
1 – Wikipedia contributors, ‘Phineas Gage’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 June 2015, 06:11 UTC, <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phineas_Gage&oldid=669147931> [accessed 15 July 2015]
2 – ibid.