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Brain Bay

My Brain Bay is my internal harbor for character emotions, motivations, and perspective that stem from the mysterious depths of mental awareness, mental illness, neurology and brain science. It gets filled by research, art, and personal experience. I visit there frequently. It seems I'm not the only one.

Last meeting two authors shared their Brain Bay fiction.

First, an author shared a scene between two men who meet in a damp park in the early morning in the 1990’s. An automotive factory worker scrounges through the park's trash bins. He's driven to find bottles and cans. He wakes up a homeless vet sleeping under a covered picnic pavilion. The vet has been diagnosed with PTSD which he (and the rest of world) doesn’t understand, yet. Most people only knew words like shell shock or battle fatigue. The author's story hovers over a vulnerable moment between the two men—one who’s held onto nothing but a sleeping bag and a dog, and another who struggles to fight his compulsions to hold onto everything.

The second story introduced prosopagnosia, a neurological condition known as face blindness. This disorder can impair people’s ability to recognize other people—even those close to them. Some suffering with this condition don’t even recognize themselves. In this reading, the protagonist is at a restaurant to meet her narcissistic mother for lunch. The protag is looking for the ladies’ rest room. Movement catches her eye and she spots a pretty blonde woman. When she asks for directions, she realizes she's looking at and talking to herself. The reader knows nothing good will come from this lunch. How can the mother be the center of everything when her own daughter doesn't recognize her? This left me wondering, how do the face blind navigate cities and relationships while being so vulnerable?

Writing like this pulls the reader in close.

Of course, Friday June 9th is our annual business meeting. We’ll be talking about beans, but remember our collective Brain Bay is deep and swelling with ideas. Come by and stick your toes in.

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