Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Post in which I Confess to Systemic Brain Malfunction

I think I have a bipolar brain although I am not using bipolar in its common sense. What I mean is that my head seems to function on two planes at once while, unfortunately, truly functioning on neither.

Permit me to try to describe what I am driving at.

A few years ago, I decided to try to learn how to play the fiddle. I made some progress but did not have much talent.

A lot of fiddlers play by ear, never reading music. In fact, some fiddlers like the highly acclaimed Natalie McMaster confess that they don't read music very well despite their virtuosity. There are other fiddlers (but usually not the good ones) who play mostly by note. I was somewhere between the two. I needed the music to sort of keep me on track but I played largely by ear at the same time. I found myself often playing the tune the way my brain wanted it to go instead of the way it was written. So, I would follow the notes in some vague way but also be in my own head space at the same time. My teacher more than once admonished me thusly: "No, that's the way that Beethoven would have composed it, but that's not the way this piece is written."

I experience the same sort of phenomenon when I read orally to Sue as I sometimes do at bedtime. (I know that orally is somewhat redundant because I could hardly read silently to her, even though she reads me pretty well after all of these years.) Frequently, when I begin a sentence, my brain somehow interprets where it is going and constructs its own version. I find myself interposing my own word order and saying it out loud that way before I realize that the author's order is different. I sometimes rearrange sentences completely, but they usually come out right for some reason.

It's somewhat the same when I type on the keyboard (where else would one type, he asks). I am most definitely not a touch typist although my brain somehow has an idea where most of the keys are generally located. I could not begin to describe the keyboard to you, but somehow, my fingers tend to reach in the right direction almost all of the time. However, because I am not a trained typist, I really have no ability to hone in precisely on the keys. So I sort of look at the keyboard. But I sort of also don't look at the keyboard. I guess it's usually in my field of view, but I am also not seeing it all that well, and I can barely type three words without making a mistake. Sometimes, it fair near drives me to distraction.

So ... I know this isn't bipolarity in the common sense, but I don't know what else to call it. Yes, I do. Weirdness. Yup, that's it. I'm just plain weird.

10 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

shaking my head and laughing softly...

Lorna said...

I sometimes come out right for some reason but I usually rearrange sentences completely.

No, I meant I sometimes rearrange sentences completely, but they usually come out right for some reason.

Gina said...

The only reason I type as fast as I do is because I had to take two years of typing in high school.

I have to say, it was totally worth it, even though it seemed horrible at the time.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I know exactly what you mean! I do these same things, AV. We are all weird and thus not weird at all. See what I mean?

Hilary said...

The most heavily used key on my keyboard is the delete key. I can certainly commiserate about that.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Apt self descriptions but then those of a kind should stick together, John.

Shammickite said...

Never learned to type properly and it's far too late now. I use 2 fingers and it seems to work out OK. Never tried playing the fiddle. But I do read stories out loud to my grandchildren and they enjoy it, but I often trip over my words and bite the inside of my mouth!!! OWWW!!!! I guess I'm just as weird as you.

Regenia said...

Shame on me! I found your confession totally enjoyable! I don' t understand why your fiddle instructor tied to correct you if you were on Beethoven's level of talent?! I do think The Chicken...has a very astute observation!

troutbirder said...

Sounds good to me. Your brain is so powerful and efficient it overpowers the text. :)

Mary Gilmour said...

'Reading aloud' is what we used to call it. And, yes, I totally get what you are describing. You can't be weird if the rest of us do the same kind of thing.
When you are left handed, as I am, the two halves of your brain sometimes don't connect at all.