Friday, June 20, 2008

Art Blog: Left Brain/Right Brain

I just had such a grand revelation. I watched a TED video featuring Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. She presents the events which occurred when she had a stroke. She speaks about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. She describes the differences of each side of our brain and how we use them. Also, she describes what happened to her when her left hemisphere was rendered dysfunctional.
To hear her tell of this experience is amazing. However, it also helped me realize something about myself. One of the reasons I am so uncomfortable right now is because I am forcing myself to live in my own left brain world. If you watch the video, you will understand better than I can describe. However, I will try to explain the best I can.
Years ago, I took a test for a job which measured which hemisphere of my brain was dominant. Of course, I was at the far end of the right brain scale. I am an artist for goodness sakes! I have always known this. No surprises there. In fact, I have honed and worked diligently to bolster and strengthen my left brain skills because I always felt like I was flailing in my own dream world of right brain nirvana. I needed something to ground me. Left brain functions act as my anchor and prevent me from sinking into insanity. This is why I am such an avid student. I need some kind of order. I need some kind of organization. I need some kind of stability in my life. So I force my left brain to work.
The problem is I am stuck in LEFT brain mode right now. After worrying about the job situation, filling out forms, writing letters, plotting, planning, and trying to make order out of chaos, I have planted myself in a forest of linear, left brain activities. I have lost my way and can’t get out. I think this is the reason I was so happy at the concert a few days ago. Finally, I was back in right brain, “La La Land”, my home town!
I am not suggesting or recommend trying to live in a right brain world all the time. For me, that would be like being on a lifelong LSD trip. We have to live in reality sometimes. However, my artistic la la land is where I want to live for as much time as I can manage. Now all I have to do is find that trail of breadcrumbs leading back to my right hemisphere.

This TED video is fascinating. Let me warn you. It is long compared to most YouTube videos. However, it is worth the time if you are interested in understanding your brain and how it works. Very enlightening!

1 comment:

queenlint1 said...

I saw this video a while back and it made a significant shift in my thinking 'down'.

I'm continually reminded about our connectedness. I just reconnected with an artist friend who moved to Oregon over 16 years ago. I lost track, was reading Vikki North's blog and see my friend listed as a friend of Vikki's. The obviations are too many to go into. Let's just say the three of us are dumbfounded!

I would LOVE to see hats that you make, BTW!! While not as rich a landfall as selling a big work, it's instant gratification and an absolute wheat field full of experimentation and fun!!