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Saturday, March 10, 2007


are in bloom in gardens all over the East Bay. Miracles of curvilinear elegance, sharply drawn swooping edges, smooth dense deliciously-scented creaminess I want to dive into.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

From Nietzsche, of all people!!!

We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

three brains

You know how sometimes a new piece of knowledge comes at you several times, in several different ways, in a short space of time? Call it serendipity, coincidence, whatever, it snaps you into paying attention.

I first read about the enteric nervous system in the gut last week - during my flight from London to San Francisco, in a magazine article. A couple of days ago, I woke with Theodore Roethke's line on gut intelligence (from The Waking) running through my head:

We think by feeling. What is there to know?

Then the book I picked up at the library yesterday dives straight into the "three brains." How there are more neurons in the intestinal system than in the entire spinal column - over 100 million. How the gut is literally, the first port of entry for the processing of all external stimuli, experience and information.

The second port of entry, apparently, is the heart. Which generates an electromagnetic field 5000 times greater than that generated by the brain. And packs a concentration of 40,000 nerve cells. The heart, not the brain, sends the message to the hormonal system to produce atrial peptide, the primary driver of motivated behaviour.

So, whether we know it or not, we think first with the gut. Next with the heart. Finally, with the brain. What's incredibly exciting about this knowledge, to me, is that it proves intelligence is distributed throughout the body. There is no such thing as a body-mind separation. It shows we really can trust the judgements of our guts, of our hearts, of what our bodies tell us. At any given moment, we have not one but three extraordinary centers of intelligence to draw on, and that our best thinking integrates all three.

And it's a whole new reason to pay every bit as much attention to the wellbeing of our bodies as we do to the care of our minds.........

Monday, March 05, 2007

music in my head today

is Borodin's String Quartet in D. Made famous through the song in the musical Kismet: And This Is My Beloved.

I heard it last night, as the soundtrack to an Oscar-nominated short animated film, The Little Match Girl.. Inspired choice, to combine the lush poignant strings with the story of a destitute child freezing to death. Won't ever be able to hear it again without those images.
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