Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hearts and Minds

Hearts and minds. Thoughts and emotions. Conscious and subconscious.

People use different terms to describe the same thing. I think we all sense that there is a more cognitive, cerebral part of us that directs our actions, as well as an emotional, fuzzy part that directs as well.

For the most part, I'm one of those lucky people who's parts tend to walk in tandem. There's not often a sense of discord, and when there is I can usually resolve things.

Lately, it's been different.

There have been weeks when my mind is operating well. I'm working, juggling my family, my son's illness, and the laundry without breaking a sweat. But there's a deep, underlying sorrow, sadness that I feel with each step, the way the floor feels sticky for days after your daughter spills her apple juice, no matter how many times you wash it.

And then it will flip. I will watch my bald son struggle with his balance as he walks five feet between the couch and a chair, and am overcome with exactly how horrible this is. But my heart is singing at his grins, and his pride at walking without needing to hold someone's hand.

I have always thought that discordance between the heart and mind would be uncomfortable, maybe even the origins of clinical depression. But I find that I don't mind it at all. Perhaps it's a way of protecting myself from getting too low or too high during this stressful time.


JeanMac said...

You and your family are in my thoughts every day - what a journey.

TBTAM said...

My thoughts are with you, I can only imagine...

But through the pain, you can really turn a phrase. You are a great writer.

SOCKS said...

It's so good to see you blogging - always an entertaining, heartfelt read.

Femail doc said...

Turn a phrase indeed. Your apple juice simile is memorable. I've heard that feeling from others and felt it myself, you wake up in the morning and seconds later the memory descends on your shoulders. "Oh, that," and the day starts heavy...or sticky.

Ordinary life is our best antidote to despair. Amazing how we motor on, and then our child grins and walks by himself.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Smak, thx for sharing your heart with me.

Anonymous said...

I think of you and your family daily. Praying that today is a good one.