Sunday, November 25, 2007

New template, new everything except for the old posts. Here I sit with finger exposed for the world to bang into. The screw tip is just barely exposed, I think. Oh, you don't know what's going on? Well, let me tell you something me boy-o. In the course of having my body attack itself, call it "old age" I managed to have one finger joint go over to the enemy. A staph infection set up base in the knuckle, eating away at the cartilage until there was only about a half of one side left and the bone was hollowed out. There was a mass of odd tissue created and lots of pain and pressure but in the struggle to survive I managed to meet Dr. Byrt, a great hand surgeon who, even though he said he had never seen a finger go so badly nevertheless was able to painlessly scrape down the bone spurs, remove the inflamed tissue and carefully fit a stainless steel screw into the bone all the way through the joint (such as it was) and into the next bone, securing the finger in a never ending assertion that we are "number one!" Whoppee ducks.

Yeah, the finger has a scab at the tip which may or may not be the tip of the screw, it's kinda hard to see. In theory they can remove it once the bones have grown together. Of course this makes wedging clay even harder and working on the throwing wheel very hard and, it seems, walking around cleaning house very difficult, unless you find driving your wounded hand into a shelf or book edge a fun experience. I can find lots of things to bang into it seems. Who knew? But Dr. Byrt was wonderful and anybody needing surgery in the Saratoga/Albany area should look him up. He's a serious guy but works like a machine made in Sweden and is very careful about hurting you. Speaking of hurting it seems that people who get migraines may be predisposed to suffer more in painful situations, like an inflamed finger joint. We appear to be more sensitive to pain. Great. Couldn't be psychic or a great lover, no we had to be more sensitive to pain. Which is why when Daddy smacked me in the back of the head it felt like a baseball bat. Pappy, you listening up there? I really was hurting even though you swore it was a tap. I am, in fact, not a wimp, I am a neurologically complex individual. IN point of fact Dad was probably also in more pain than your average person but since he self medicated with booze it didn't show up as much.

A TBI caregiver sent me the name of a doctor who specializes in PVS people or minimally conscious individuals. I contacted the doc who said he was more into slightly other topics but turned me onto another doctor who works actively on people like Jon. In the same batch of emails was a note from a doctor Sandlin Lowe, who wanted me to call him. I did so and lo and behold, this guy does brain mapping and the like and agrees that we have not really tested Jon fairly to determine where his consciousness is. He suggested a couple of simple tests which would help determine where the blockages are. In other words we test one circuit at a time with reactions to cold and pain and see if there is enough there to create a mind or something. If Jon cannot move willfully he will nevertheless have reflexes if the connections are there. Well that was exciting so I contacted Dr. Zelek, the neuropsychologist working on Jon. He's the guy who says Jon is vegetative because he does not respond to the doctors, his brain has shrunk, his EEG is abnormal and it's been 7 years. Well Doc Lowe says the EEGs are abnormal because that's normal for TBI patients. He says the atrophy of the brain doesn't mean much per se except that Jon has parts that are going away and they may or may not have much impact on his ability to think. I had told Lowe about an incident where I was talking to Jon about making jelly and he licked his lips. On the next visit I suggested to Jon that he do it again so we could have a code: licking lips means yes, biting lower lip means no. No reaction from Jon. So, I suggested instead I drop some lemon seltzer on his tongue for something to taste. I moved toward him with a straw containing a couple of drops of seltzer and the boy shut his mouth tight and quickly turned his head away from me. Now in order to do this Jon would need to know about seltzer, it's flavor potential and choose to not accept the drops! Zelek thought it was reflex and Lowe agreed with me that it indicated something else, like consciousness, especially since I did not even touch Jon to get the reaction. So now Dr. Lowe is planning on communicating with Zelek and the rest of Jon's crew and see if we can really test Jon for consciousness. We think he is drifting in and out of minimally conscious states and vegetative states. Which is still more promising than simply vegetative. So we may yet get some more stimulation and therapy for Jon!! Yay!

Pretty good Thanksgiving all in all. My old pal Larry's brother is sending more of the LPs Larry left me in his will. I need to call him to go over more titles and artist names, seems Jerry doesn't know much about the blues. I'm also trying to see if we can get Larry's photos and see if I can put together a collection worthy of publication. Might be nice as Larry spent his life making pictures and now they are just sitting in a box somewhere, or maybe several boxes and computer hard drives. I'd love to do something nice for Larry, get his name known more and show the world what all he was able to see and record. He had such a good eye.

It's difficult writing that Larry "had" a good eye rather than Larry "has" a good eye.

Well the back is still busted so I'm cutting this shorter but the rest of the news is that Jess has a new apartment with doors on the bedrooms and once she finds a room mate she will be set. We sent down some furniture with her and things are looking good. I don't think it's possible to be more proud of her than we are, she's doing so well. I do wish Larry were around to see all this but I suspect he is watching over the girl like he did when he was walking around. I bet if he had had time to write an up to date will he would have left her one of his sports cars or something. His will was dated 1976! Not long after Teddy was killed in fact, must have shook up the man enough to write one up. I didn't get around to it until Larry died and then I put one in the safe giving Margaret everything I owned, although Jess wants the sword, maces and helmet. She already co-owns all my tools.

After getting a staph infection and losing a finger joint I begin to worry about my osteoarthritis in my neck. What's the chance one of those joints is going to go south on me? Yikes. I think it would be good if Margaret knew reikei and we worked on each other before going to bed, but knowing us a mutual session might be too distracting and we'd be making out after a couple of minutes! 8-) Yeah she has nice hands and I'm a sucker for a pretty face. What she sees in me I don't know but she says I make her laugh. Lots of people say I make them laugh but she's the only one who goes from laughter to kisses, thank goodness. What a strange life. Yes, thank goodness for Margaret. Nobody was ever as lucky as me, finding her so far away from my old home and giving me a new wonderful home up here in the trees and streams of upstate New York. Now if I can just knit all the parts back up and stop falling apart.

Sorry if some of these posts repeat old news but I find it hard to recall if I wrote something in an email to somebody, thought of it while in the studio or put it down in this blog a few weeks ago.

Now I gonna sing my "Do-dee-doo" song!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I need to get back to this idea of the senses creating consciousness. To begin with, use of the term "creating" immediately creates a duality and a linear condition, which while not inherently evil, still is but one of several options. To create you have a creator and you have a creation, you have the uncreated, you have linear time, a done, doer and bypassed. You have a single event, although it may be linked to a series of related events, each parcel of moment is but an event and consciousness is the event horizon as possibility passes into history and memory, and in the minds of some, the uncreated again. The quality of an event horizon is that nothing passes beyond it. That defines it, the moment at which communication ceases. I have circled my son's silent form for close to seven years now at an event horizon which seems to be shrinking. All of creation in motion tends towards un-creation. The consciousness of non-motion cannot be conscious of any of the rest of creation, because to pass from unawareness to awareness is to cross an event horizon and that is what defines motion. Thus, everything that moves is alive because consciousness changes as relates to the rest of the world, that is, the rest of the creation is understood to be changing. Most people have an understanding of "alive" as "like me" in some way. Nobody can think of themselves as being "not alive", although they may say they are dead tired or dead in the water, it is understood that they still expect to see the next few moments through and perhaps the rest of their lives. But "alive" simply refers to the changing nature of the universe as energy passes to mass and mass becomes energy, like a worm sliding through soil life passes through creation. The worm is conscious and the tunnel is memory, but sometimes the memory is flooded out, the worm stops moving, but at second glance we see it is still changing as cell release potions and tiny life forms slice, dice and trot off with chemicals. Slowly the worm becomes the earth that some future worm passes through.

The worm is the same form as the point of the tunnel, but the tunnel only retains the most extreme form of the worm as it passed and pushed it's way through the soil. So memory only retains extremes of some form or another. The edges of an event are capable of shrinking so that you may recall there was a cake but not the color, the flavor, or the feel. But physics affirms that reality is subjective, though it fails to be objective about the consciousness that must affirm reality. For the most part people who pass as physicists base their reality on some sense or another. They stare at symbols and other analogical moments and write new ones down or type combinations into a keyboard. They choose each moment in a tunnel of consciousness. The worm is attached to an electrical, magnetic field that passes through the earth and informs the life forms who are conscious of it what the rest of creation nearby is doing. Like if it's wet or if a foot is coming down, the worm knows when to tense or perhaps to pray.

Perception through the senses is what passes for existence for most people as they tunnel vision their way through life. If we could feel the earth's magnetic field the way so many life forms can, or see the ultraviolet that so many life forms can, we would see the world as alive, vibrant and changing and all of it connected in "visible" and "invisible" lines. We would see the connections so vividly and intensely that when one form passed from "alive" to "not alive" it would be such a subtle shift of perception that we would hardly be conscious of it, and in my case means that I never stop talking to the dead, even after Halloween. I never stop offering them substance and subsistence, words of encouragement and awe. It just seems to be another day, another night, another page of symbols on a screen of bright white light.

Jon is in his bed, eyes wide open, pointed at the ceiling. The tiles like a Tetris field, are spotted with a non-changing pattern of black and white, black dots in a field of white. Consciousness changes but the field of black and white does not. Hundreds, thousands of black dots, some larger, some with bits of paint, bits of dust. With no short term memory, the tunnel filled with immovable debris, how many times would a person count the same dot? How many times have you thought the same thought, driven the same piece of road, touched the same thing, seen the same bit of wall or ceiling? I have a program that will upload pictures from my camera in seconds and will mark duplicates. When I touch the "upload" button, that pattern on the screen that changes before me and takes those duplicate perceptions, memories, away, and the pictures that are left are each a unique image of a moment in time. And my folder is compressed. If all your duplicate memories were compressed away, how much of you would remain? Your self consciousness would change. Change is life, so you'd know you were "alive", and every moment is unique as you pass through, to, and from, life.