Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Lovely Party Gift

As most of you already know (because you saw the now-gone ticker at the top of the site), I left my job of 13 years on Friday, to pursue a life of freelance work as a writer/teacher (hopefully)/copy editor/literary bon vivant. (Okay, that last one might be pushing it a bit.)

As a tribute to this major life transition, my friend Gerry forwarded me this link* on a talk by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist who built a career studying brain disorders (her brother is a schizophrenic) and how to treat them. One morning in 1996, Dr. Taylor awoke to discover she was in the middle of having a stroke.

In this nearly-19-minute talk, she relates her experience as she watched each of her left-brain functions (walking, talking, reading, writing, memory) shut down, one by one, and the ensuing enlightenment that she acquired from the experience. Take 20 quiet, uninterrupted minutes and listen to what she has to say. It is all we fear, all we hope for, all we imagine in our wildest imaginings.

In the end, I promise you won't regret it. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor didn't.


"How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I've gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career."
~Jill Bolte Taylor~


* The transcript of her lecture can be found here, but I encourage you to watch if you have the time. She exudes an energy and passion that can't be captured in the printing of her words.

P.S. According to Dr. Taylor's website, she has been named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. That's her, right there, under the "M."

(cross-posted at MySpace)

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