Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bull and China

I am full of sharp corners
and hidden stairways.
The place that houses me
is a maze of neurons
and synapses in perpetual misfire.
I have bumbled and raged
down every blind alley
a Minotaur misunderstood
bawling destruction and mayhem
one moment, and the next
singing the stars down from the night
sky, a mess of shining and strangeness.

Moody Minotaur, so stoked for battle;
the sword has not been made
that cleaves my heart.
Only isolation can do that.
A friendless night stuns me,
drives me back to the maze
and banishes the beast.
Sloping off into solitude
balling myself up under the stairs
or tiptoeing, cloven-hoofed
across the beams of the attic (creak/screak)
while in the dining room below
a family pauses at dinner to look up
and listen, their forks frozen halfway
to their mouths, their eyes
wide with wonder
while I breathe so softly--and wait
to hear the clatter of silverware
on china.

KB© 2/20/2014

Friday, February 7, 2014


February. This is the witching hour, the midwinter night, the edge of the road where the shoulder is soft and yielding and there is no guardrail. There is no pill I can take that will make February feel tame. No song that will sing it to sleep at night.

February is a mouthful of awkward.

The dog waits up with me while my mind paces. I can feel the mute kindness of his gaze, pulling at me; he wants attention, love, a chewy, to hear my voice, anything. But I am lost in the spin of my brain which makes no sound in the room but rises to a siren pitch in my ears. February. I can't say it out loud; the word twists from my lips, a fish flung aimless and flopping to the carpet, out of air. Out of time.

Strange; after all it is only that the planet has orbited the sun once more and has now kept my continent in shadow for a certain period of time. This is how things work. There is a solar system that connects to a galaxy that connects to a larger universe that doesn't give a fuck what happens to my brain in February. This is how things work. And this is also how they don't work, how chemistry begins to fail, and neurons and synapses cease to have the conversations they so vitally need to have.

February. There is no guardrail and the turns are uncertain and you must keep struggling to stay on the road. You must do all the right things. Sleep, eat, exercise, have friends. That is important--have friends. People who know.

But does anyone know about February?