Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Rubber Ball in a Tile Bathroom

"A rubber ball bounced high in a tile bathroom." That's what Grady Lee Nutt called one of his friends in a comedy skit. I can relate. Take a look at the comedy ramblings of Robin Williams, and you can almost see his brain bouncing around in his head, cultural and historic references combining as atoms do in a super-collider. I'd love to see his dreams, if his brain is that active, it would be a thrill indeed to see what is mind comes up with when all barriers are taken down. Dennis Miller is another example. The only problem with him providing insight on MNF was that his comparisons were so far above those of the average football watcher.

You can go to any website about ADD and find a list of the most important and intelligent people who were said to have the condition (I say condition because "disorder" is too negative, and "disease" is outrageous), from Einstein to Mark Lowry. I wonder if it's a natural side effect from increased brain chemicals and firing neurons that keep a brain working and making connections. Maybe we work our brains so hard that it has to stop and reset sometimes. Like a person with high blood sugar, the lows needed to balance the highs are sometimes not pleasant.

I know from personal experience what living with ADD is like. I'll be walking along, taking a customer to a book, and by the time I get to where I'm going, I've forgotten the title. Or keeping a checkbook. You can ask the bank, which has gotten filthy rich over my transgressions on that subject. My mom found a report on a prominent ADD website that showed how people with ADD could not handle money, or credit, well at all. It was (and has been) a constant struggle. Possibly because anything that keeps us from reaching our goals and dreams is quite easily ignored. Of course, that does not rid ourselves of those obstacles, it just keeps us from seeing them until it's too late. Then there's the depression and lethargic moments, the need to eat to keep up energy, the times when the mind is doing backflips, but the body is tired (Lowry).

But the advantages of having ADD far outweighs the negatives. I can memorize large amounts of data, inventory stock, and the like. I can pull out information that has been lying dormant in my head for years, and surprise everyone while watching Jeopardy. I sincerely believe that ADD is simply a state of a brain adapting to the massive amounts of stimuli that this world throws at us everyday. The people that can hadle it become productive members of society. Those that can't, well...

Actually, though, I wanted to talk about those highs and lows. Modern Psychologists would say that the best thing for people to do is to keep things in moderation. Keep everything level, and the doctors are quick to give people medicine to help them do just that. I am not dissing Prozac. It's my friend and helps me to keep the lows a little less frequent. But I feel sorry for the people who have zombied themselves into a state of banality. Without the need to experience those highs, nothing worthwhile can be reached. No goals, no dreams, no joys or sorrows. And then what is your life like? One could spend a whole lifetime traveling roads with no hills, no valleys, as straight as the plains of Kansas, and they would see nothing and experience nothing. But the traveler standing on the heights of the world, as in the Caspar David Fredrich painting (see my "About Me" part of Myspace), or the monk looking out at the vast seascape and looking up at the sky and feeling insignificant, as in another Friedrich painting, would experience joys and despair, but would be experiencing something. Would you have died, not having lived?

There is more about this subject, examples in literature, contemporary culture, etc... but I'll let that go for another day. I just finished reading Dove by Robin Lee Graham, and I'll want to do a short review of that next. Wonderful book.

[Addendum: After a not so good night sleep, my brain reached into the filing cabinets and realized that I had quoted Nutt wrong. The proper quote is: "A golf ball hit full swing in a tile bathroom." But the title image works as well. I love those bouncy-ball things you get from grocery store vending machines. Mine always wound up bouncing behind the washer and dryer. ]

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