Friday, June 21, 2013



A subject I have touched on fairly regularly in these blogs is the matter of cognition—both how we think, and whether it is possible to improve one’s thinking.

Here, I express no particular expertise, except as the possessor of an extremely active and restless mind—while at the same time suffering from a form of dyslexia. The latter affects me in various ways, the most irritating being the inability to remember telephone numbers—and I have other short term memory issues as well. Also, I seem to perceive time differently. There, I’ll stop. We won’t talk about what is generally known as ‘creative temperament.’ I have enough pride to prefer not to air all my inadequacies.

I might like to be able to blame such matters on my advancing years, but the truth is I have been aware of such deficiencies since my early school days. In fact, I was excused from having to standup and recite by rote after my teachers finally accepted my condition.

Privately, I didn’t accept my various cognitive flaws, and, over the years, have worked very hard to compensate for them.

The irony is that although my mind resembles a turbulent sea—tossing thoughts around in what can seem to me to be a decidedly arbitrary fashion—I think and write with considerable clarity. Finally, it dawned on me that it was the very effort I seem to require to instill discipline into my sometimes befuddled mind that produces the somewhat paradoxical result of both thinking and writing clearly. Perhaps others, who don’t have to wrestle with such inner confusion, don’t have to think matters though with such diligence. Or maybe more of us than I realize have problems broadly similar to mine. When I have learned to mind read, I’ll give you a definitive answer. By the way, that was a joke! 

Let me tell you the effort required to achieve such a result has been—and remains—prodigious. In a way, I’m fighting my own mind (or certainly aspects of it)—and I have certainly been fighting my temperament.

All I can say to others, who are similarly at war, is that one’s efforts are richly rewarded—and that the ability to write clearly is a gift beyond compare. 

I feel truly fortunate. 

No comments:

Post a Comment