My skin temperature seems a little high, just a bit hotter than usual. My microwaved coffee may be the cause. Since my espresso machine died, I’ve been going through regular pots. Regular coffee affects me differently than espresso shots. Maybe that’s why I’m sweating a bit. Or maybe it’s hot in my office because the heater may be on. I don’t remember, and I can’t see the dial from here. Or I could be sick, but I doubt it.
Perception. I’ve been thinking about it a lot in recent days. Sensory perception, then the filters of various parts of the brain involved in the deciphering of the raw visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustative information, then cognition, then story-telling. Or something like that.
I had a counselor ask me once why I thought thoughts were so much more trustworthy than feelings. He wasn’t arguing that feelings should be trusted–he was challenging why I gave reason a pass when it came to trust. As if reason were, by definition, trustworthy. I explained that more than once I’d followed my “gut”, listened to my “intuition”, and I’d gotten burned, in fact, nearly thrown my life away. “Emotion can’t be trusted” I told him. Undeterred, he wondered something that went like this: what if reason was just as likely to lead us astray, especially if we build the foundations of reason on wrong assumptions and incoherent processes? What if highly attuned emotional intelligence could be just as trustworthy as reasoned thought? Or better yet, what if reasoned thought might be just as likely to be misleading as emotional flooding?
Perception. Yesterday morning, I drove east across the bridge and met a friend at Belle Pastry in Old Bellevue. Easily the best pastry I’ve had in years, the croissant was light, flaky, buttery, and the conversation was just as good. I was going on about my interest in the notion that we all have to make sense of things, that we each are stuck with making up a story of some kind, a narrative tale that can get us through the decades in one piece. My friend, animated and lively, said that yes, this was exactly what we had to do. It was our God-given responsibility to do just that, to make a story of how the world is, and live and tell that story.
A big truck is idling outside. It drops into gear, and heads on. I infer the light must have turned green at the intersection. Now it’s gone.
I got some news a few minutes that could have a major impact on my bank account.
Tomorrow is my last day of full-time employment, and it’s by choice, and not by layoff. Perhaps I’ve lost my mind.
Last night, I saw a play that reminded me again that the great unknown is coming, headed our way. None of us will escape.
I asked the following question this afternoon: “What parent would make a world for their child in which the rules were this: if anything good happened in the child’s life, the parent would always get the credit. And if anything bad happened in the child’s life, the child would get the blame.”
Tomorrow, house guests arrive. We welcome them even though we’ve never met them.
Even now, you’re wondering about the last five or six sentences. They seem a bit random, and you’re trying to make sense of them. Trying to put together a narrative, using the title of blog post, and perhaps the word “perception” to lace together the story, the meaning, the point. And if you fail to make the connections that create that narrative, it’s me that’s failed.
As I often say, the burden of communication is on the communicator. May not be fair, but…
Perception, process, imagination, cognition, narrative, meaning…