Monday, November 16, 2009

All hail the power of the relaxed brain


I can't believe I never tried taking pics at night until now. Both pics in this post were taken on Tennessee Avenue. Otherworldly, aren't they?

Thinking is good, but relaxing the brain and not thinking is just as good. Are you ever awakened in the middle of the night with the solution to a problem or some kind of revelation fresh in your mind? I am - often. I also receive excellent ideas while standing in the shower, hot water cascading down the back of my head.

It's not just me, of course. Neurologists have mapped the way in which insights arrive more readily when the brain relaxes.

Last night at approximately 3:30 a.m. I woke up from a peaceful sleep to this thought: Hammer's blog was a work of art. The Gold Puppy most certainly is not! My blog is an ongoing narrative of thoughts, illustrated with images of what I encounter while I'm walking around thinking. Since my internal narrative is relentless (even when I'm allegedly meditating), by its very nature it doesn't have an endpoint the way Throwing Hammers did. Eureka! The urge to quit suddenly has subsided. Ahhh ... I do have impulse control after all! Cool!

22 comments:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

The night photos are almost spooky, though beautiful. Something as mundane as working the crossword puzzle is easier when I am relaxed. If I am in turmoil I can't focus & pull out the words I need.

Lynne said...

Love the photos! The first one almost looks like the sun instead of a street light.

It would be a shame to see you stop blogging. You have so much to share! Glad you're continuing on. I still miss pod.

willow said...

Yes, to the nighttime thoughts, as well as the shower thoughts! Those are the two places where I find solutions, too.

Love your night pics.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good article!

k-brow said...

Love your night photos. Y'know, Reya, every time a blogger I read decides to end their blog, and writes out their reasons for doing so, those reasons sound good and convincing, and I find myself contemplating an end to my own. It's just natural to question the longevity and evolution of your blog from time to time.

That said, I'm mightily glad you're going on with yours!

ellen abbott said...

Oh yay! (Happy dance ensues.)

Yes, I have often received solutions to problems in dreams, in the middle of the night.

The Bug said...

My problem is that although I solve problems & come up with excellent blog posts in the middle of the night or in the shower (or while driving - is it bad that I consider driving to be a mindless activity?) - I have trouble remembering them by the time I can write them down. Sigh.

I've been thinking about the "purpose" of my blog ever since you started talking about Hammer's blog ending & your own thoughts about ending yours. My blog is a journal & a way to connect to a wider community since I'm so introverted in real life. It's certainly NOT a work of art! I can see times ahead where it might be dormant because I'm dormant, but I don't see it ending anytime soon (says the person who has 87 posts under her belt LOL).

Ronda Laveen said...

ENLIGHTENMENT.

John Hayes said...

Wow, I sure am glad to hear that. I believe it's hard to make generalizations about blogs because they vary so much in content & approach. Some are like diaries, some are like magazines--sort of how I think of RF Banjo--& some are works of art in themselves. But I sure would miss this space if you stopped. & those are fantastic pix.

Chris Wolf said...

My students have confirmed what has happened to me quite a few times. I am able to only work a difficult piece to a certain level, get frustrated and put it aside for a day or two. Suddenly when I come to it again, it is better, seemingly by magic! What was really happening was my brain was slow cooking it in the background, and figuring it out. I love those unexplainable moments!

Janelle said...

god. awesome!!! soooooo much light that side...TANESCO here can barely keep house lights alive never mind street lights! gorgeous and atmospheric..oh and by the by, your blog IS a work of art, darlin' xxx j

Phil said...

My best ideas often come at night, in that half awake/half asleep phase.

Of course, I tell myself "I will type that out tomorrow"...then I forget what I was thinking about.

Hammer's entire blog, for the last 3 or 4 years at least, seemed like a weird dream anyway. An entertaining one at least.

You always take the best photos

Nancy said...

Just catching up on the last couple of posts. Are you thinking of doing away with The Gold Puppy? I know we get to the point sometimes where we do think our blog is finished. It has passed my mind lately too. Maybe you are right - we should anticipate endings - maybe then they wouldn't be so hard. But I would definitely miss The Gold Puppy.

Best ideas and revelations certainly come when we are relaxed. I've been doing some crocheting and finding inspiration comes when I am doing something mindless.

Hammer said...

Per Phil's comment, it stands to reason I suppose. Large sections of the last 3 or 4 years of my whole damn life seem like a weird dream.

Elizabeth said...

Loved the upside-down picture in the post below.
Yes, getting presents is extra wonderful and what syncronicity (spelling!)
Night photos are great fun and can be manipulated a bit to go REALLY SPOOKY
love you!

Bee said...

That moon almost sears the eyes. I think that I would argue with you about one thing, though; I DO find your blog to be a work of art. YES.

I get my best ideas when I'm walking and my mind gets the chance to (correspondingly) wander.

Reya Mellicker said...

I wish it was a moon - it's a streetlight.

Elizabeth I don't have to do a lot of manipulation. My camera is cheap enough that it interprets light in its own quirky way. What would I do with a camera that has a decent lens? It boggles the mind. I do pop up the contrast and add in a lot of cyan.

Now Phil and Ms. Bug - the two you definitely have NOT been practicing your insomniac behavior! Tsk tsk! For me, when I wake up, I'm really really awake. Sometimes I do write these things down, but mostly I remember them because they were thoughts strong enough to wake me from a deep sleep. I think that's why.

Chris the brain is plastic, really really plastic, more so than most of us can imagine. Cool how you let the piece simmer.

Thanks all for referring to the Puppy as art. I'm unconvinced. I kind of like it as a plain ongoing narrative - creative but not with the intention of creating art.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda you write one word and I understand completely. Thank you!

Barry said...

I love the relaxed brain. It came up with the perfect solution!

Sandra Leigh said...

I've recently dragged my neglected knitting needles out and started a pair of socks. For me, there's nothing like mindless knitting - particularly mindless knitting in circles - to relax my brain. I'm very glad that your relaxed brain inspired you to keep blogging. I would miss seeing your work of art (and it is all that) if you stopped.

Ronda Laveen said...

My pleasure, my love.

steven said...

hi reya - ya never left! i get thoughts and understandings on my bike. it's a good alone space where i can talk into the wind and no one hears, gets bugged, chimes in, distracts me. i like nighttime shots even though my camera's reluctant to head out into the dark. your photos are making me think of rembrandt with their half tones of gold and edge lit forms. they're very lovely. steven