Fishing For Thought


  • excited
  • excitable
  • exciting
  • inciting

neurons now fire and fade in my mind like they’re covered by a wet blanket.

The initial pulse of a thought is still clear… recognizable as something interesting or joy-inducing or worth pursuing.  But it’s then dampened enough to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the mind and flowering into something resembling real inspiration.

But maybe this is the limit now: the New Fogged Normal.

And if so, in that context those damp fogged-in flashes are inspiration (or at least as much as you’re gonna get), and so you’d damn well better grab onto them and facilitate their flourishing as much as you can.

For maybe this process– not so easily letting go of the now-slippery rope ends of worthy, valuable thoughts– is a new skill that must be learned and suddenly


And maybe by practicing this skill, the soft paths of thinking can be tread down more clearly and precisely, and I’ll be able once again to follow those shooting stars swiftly through the woods.  I’ll be able to follow them to a clearing where things are clear, and the light shines bright, and I can soak in it and bend it and spend as long as I want basking in it and shaping it and making something of it.

For certainly, focussing only on unfocussed transience will lead me nowhere but the same place: standing alone, waiting for the next faint flash that I know in advance will quickly disappear.

So hold on to those ropes, for dear life.

For life is dear.  And dur.

But so long as your eyes are open and your hands remain dipped in the water, those slippery ropes of beautiful thought and enriching experience will continue to swim by like eels packed in a freshwater stream, asking to be caught if you’ll only just try.  And maybe you just need to try.  To try harder.  Maybe then you can get better.

The fish used to swim into your mouth with no effort at all.

Now you must learn to be a fisherman.

3 thoughts on “Fishing For Thought

  1. You already are a fisherman, and a gifted one- you’re just fishing with a completely different tackle than you’ve ever used before. (And, having the kind that had the fish swimming into your mouth with no effort at all was the Ultra-platinum version, possessed by only a tiny portion of the planet’s inhabitants…)

    When you write, it reads like you’ve followed those stars, and processed what is revealed in their light into beautiful images and insight, even if the light is filtered differently than it was before.

    I think it must be really hard to wait for healing to be accomplished, when you don’t know what “healed” will be, or when/if you’ll get there. From this perspective, what’s coming out of the new fogged normal you inhabit right now is pretty awesome stuff- with no scientific basis behind me, I still think the fact that when you sit down to write you produce something that’s thoughtful, lyrical and coherent is an extremely good portent for future healing. With a hole in your head (that’s getting better all the time) you create posts that are more compelling than a large percentage of whole-brained, non GBMed people. That HAS to mean something.

    Healing is a slow, multi-system process. I send love and support to all your systems, patience as the process winds out, and hope that when you get to your new normal, it will be a good and comfortable place, and you’ll find that all the experiences you’ve navigated in the getting there make you an even more powerful fisherman than you already are.

  2. Every time I’ve wanted to comment on your blog, what I’m trying to write never sounds good enough but I’m a-gonna post anyway. Your writing is super awesome and you sound like an even awesomer person. Thank you for sharing your gift on Ye Olde Internet.

    K-Wo, AKA Random Internet Reader

  3. Hi Chad, thank you so much for your beautiful and poignant thoughts. It’s been 10 days since my brain surgery and I’m just starting the healing process, you are a great inspiration for me even though our circumstances are not the same, sorry. I’m getting the staples removed from my head tomorrow and maybe my doc will have some news on the pathology of my tumor – we are very hopeful the news will be good. You and Geraldine inspired me to do a small ghost of a blog to chronicle my experience, at Mostly it’s being filled in by my sister since today is the first day I’ve been able to really string a few thoughts together to write this note. I was darn lucky, first to survive the operation, then to avoid being a vegetable, then to avoid a large degree of mental deficiency-I hope! I may not know about the issue of recurrence anytime soon, but am hopeful. I will continue to read your posts and try to learn from your wisdom how to navigate this new ‘after brain surgery’ life I’m starting down. I would be happy to start and continue talking to you as we both continue down our paths. Thanks again for being the person you are. Chris

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