The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘brain’

Late Night Thinking

The hour or so before bed, when I should actually be sleeping, is the time I do most of my emotional thinking. Not profound thoughts, not witty thoughts, not intellectual thoughts,  just letting my emotions have full rein. I think about old grudges, new hurts, why I find it hard to say things I should say, whether I should take full revenge or forgive. That sort of stuff. Don’t know why it always comes up just before bed. Maybe it’s brain chemistry. Maybe it’s the “thinness of the veil”. Maybe it’s just the dark.
When do you do that sort of thinking?

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Why I Knit and Spin

Read this article if you think knitting is for old ladies.

As a person who has survived a traumatic brain injury, I know that it was knitting and spinning that healed me. For some reason, during the months following my death by surgery and my subsequent resurrection, I picked up my needles and spindles after a long hiatus. Something deep within called me to move my hands and trail yarn around the house. I did not know it at the time, but this was good medicine for what ails me.

Using the hands, which according to writer Madeleine L’Engle contain “grey matter”, the stuff of brains, causes new neural pathways to form. Since I had destroyed some, my body, mind, hands, spirit, knew that I had to recreate them.

But not only did I find my brain healing, my spirit, torn by the loss of my job, loneliness because all my friends worked, and many other losses that accompany serious illness, found solace. Anyone who knits or spins consciously is probably well aware that both can be a form of meditation. I knit because I love to watch the patterns emerge, chaos giving way to great beauty, and because it is soothing. I spin because the mechanics of wool to yarn is nothing but miraculous.

And now knitting is being used to explain the universe. Wow! The things yarn can do.

Midnight Musings

It’s actually 1 am and I JUST finished indexing the Portfolio Management book. It was a long haul, and chapters came late, and it’s due tomorrow. It’s still too hot so I’m drinking Mike’s hard lemonade. Over ice. With a straw. On the presumption that the faster you drink it, the faster it will put you to sleep. I want to sleep. I crave sleep. But I can never sleep right after working and I can NEVER sleep when it’s too damned hot. So booze.

Jenny and the evil cat generate a lot of heat and they are already in bed. And Jenny believes that a comforter and a quilt are necessary even when it’s too damned hot. I’d sleep in the guest room but we just moved in, the barn was just built, and the guest room is full of crap that belongs in the barn. For example, a crib. We have no use for a crib, but we are hopeful that there will be more grandkids someday, so we keep a crib. Actually, the crib I slept in. It’s very cool because it folds. But it still takes up too much room. All the art is also on the guest room bed and somewhere in there are the discs to fix the problem this computer is having with my laser printer. I should move stuff to the barn. But it’s too damned hot.

Besides, I have three books in the index queue and had an email from an author in my inbox when we got home. So that may be four books in the queue.  I’m not sure what is going on but suddenly I’m getting almost more work than I can handle. It’s nice, but it means I’m not doing much else. Well, catching up on some bills, putting some away for taxes, saving a little. But I’d like to ride my scooter more! And record all the old cassette tapes into iTunes. And hang the art.

I do get some extra points because I worked for awhile on the novel I’m writing. I’m really enjoying this one, although I’m having to do a lot of research for it, and try to work on it daily. Which means once a week mostly, usually just the night before I need pages for writer’s group. Which is tomorrow. And I’m going to ride my scooter there. And send the Portfolio book in. AND THE INVOICE. My favorite part.

So, the Mike’s is gone and I’m still here.  Can’t have another because, due to a brain injury six years ago, I take every drug known to man as long as it ends in -zepam. Drugs to fall asleep, drugs to stay asleep, drugs to keep me from kicking Jenny out of bed, drugs to keep me from acting out my dreams (Jenny REALLY hates that one), and drugs just for the sake of drugs. Brain injuries are interesting, and some day I’ll write more about it, but the upshot for me was fibromyalgia and six? seven? sleep disorders. I’ve lost track. All I know is there are EEGs out there of me sleeping and I was a mess before the drugs. Now I’m not a mess, but I am drugged.

And the dog has decided that it is her job to alert me if Jenny leaves the house. Which she does, four days a week, at a bit before six am. Now, it’s 1 am plus and I’m still up. I’m not fond of six am. I’m not even fond of 8 am. And I’m particularly not fond of a dog barking in my face, demanding I open the door just so the dog can sit on the porch and stare at the driveway, willing Jenny to come back. And she doesn’t even like Jenny best. But she likes to annoy me most.

Whether Report

It’s raining which means I won’t be riding my scooter today. I’m new to the whole motorized two-wheel thing so I don’t ride in the rain deliberately yet. I’m bummed.

So the choices are two: spin or work.

Spinning brought my brain back together after the brain injury. I just did it because I was stuck at home and had little to do but spin and watch TV. Little did I know that doing things with your hands repairs the brain. So my body knew what I needed and made me do it. I spin a lot: in the car, while visiting, watching TV, at meetings. Based on that, I have the healthiest brain around. Don’t you agree?

On the other hand, I have a 622 page book due to the publisher on Monday and am only on page 148. Yesterday was a mess because of computer glitches, a long unneeded trip to the Apple Store to see a “Genius”, and then I felt a desperate need to back everything up to everywhere even though I hadn’t really lost any data.

Guess I better get to work. I’d rather be spinning.

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