I wanted to talk a little bit about music, but it's going to have to wait. Some things just crowd their way into my brain and insist on attention. I'll get to the music thing another time.
I’ve known since I was in elementary school that there was something different about how I perceived the world visually. The awareness was especially clear when it came to reading aloud in front of the class. My teacher would point out with growing impatience that I was adding words that were not there.
I was a diligent reader as a kid, pouring over books from the small town library. Each sentence would be slowly consumed, filtered (somewhat like a chicken’s gizzard’s job, I imagine) for altered perceptions, then digested. Words that jumped up from sentences below, or squeezed in ahead of their predecessor, would need to be put back in their original place. Letters that scrambled themselves about like a Chinese fire drill, had to be sorted out and reassembled. Reading was a process of discovery that required slow, patient attention and a tolerance for delayed gratification. It took me weeks longer to read my way through the Summer Reading List than my cousins who would replenish their stacks of books each week at our musty old public library.
In adulthood, I’ve gained an appreciation for the dyslexic quality of my brain as it takes in information from the environment in addition to words on a page. It brings me a smile, an eye roll, and even an occasional belly laugh at the absurdities in life revealed by a differently-wired brain.
For example, this morning as I listened to the traffic update on the news channel, I heard that traffic had slowed along Highway 37 earlier, due to six ghosts that were running along the highway. Hmmm. It never occurred to me that ghosts ran. An odd visual of ethereal beings moving in an exaggerated marathon-in-slow-motion played itself across my inner visual field. I had a good chuckle.
Then, in a matter of seconds, the little brain synapses, or whatever controls such things, realigned themselves, corrected my information processing wiring, and repeated the information: six goats were running along the highway. Oh, goats. Well, that wasn’t nearly as funny.