Saturday, April 14, 2007


Where does it come from? I mean ... well, I do not know what I mean. It is, after all, another thing that is inside our heads, is it not? What inspires one person to write a novel is the same thing that someone else completely missed because, to that person, it was completely mundane. What makes one man think, makes another yawn.

It comes on the form of memories, sensory input, dreams, and the random ones that just seem to come out of nowhere. I suppose that it is this last kind that I am referring to in the question. When it does not come from our reactions to what we have experienced or are experiencing, when it does not come from the part of our brain that we only get to experience when the rest of our brain has decided to take some down time, when it does not come from inside of us or from the world around us, where does it come from? Is this what some people refer to as "divine inspiration"?

At this point in my life, I do not think I am what most people would call a religious man. I am a devout explorer. I have investigated numerous religions ranging from monotheistic "pagan" (the multi/pantheons just seemed too "let's-put-it-in-a-box-and-ignore-everything-that-doesn't-fit" to me), to Catholicism (from my Mother), to the Church of of Latter Day Saints, with several Protestant and "Christian" (read the-Church-of-Believe-Like-Me-or-Burn-in-Hell) religions in between. I still read scriptures, pray, and occasionally attend church (which one is based on the pastors' choice of service projects), and I still bring my children up with the same values as many religious people. I just have not really an "organized" religion which seems to be able and willing to answer my tougher questions.

Do I believe that I could be inspired by some need of the Almighty? Well, I suppose anything is possible, but the odds are better for me to win the lottery. At the same time, some of the thoughts that have been entering my head lately do not seem to have any basis in anything that I can scientifically say 'these are all in my head'. Maybe it just comes out of things I forgot I knew and my poor brain is just beginning to dredge the refuse for some fertile compost. Or maybe the inspiration is divine, and our Creator is trying to tell me how I am to be of service to him.

Does it even matter? As long as it does not hurt anyone, does it matter where it comes from and what I do with it? The only way I can really know is to go on, finding pieces of the puzzle and plugging them in, and hopefully helping somebody along the way.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Source code

Wow! the things our genes do to us.

I mean ADD is just one example. There are so many other things out there that can be linked to our genetic codes. Anger, illness, stupidity ;), even who you want to sleep with can be, potentially, tied to your genetic code.

My best friend insists that homosexuality is genetic (and its opposite, obviously). I can not say that I completely disagree with him, but I do couch my responses in a better understanding of genetics. After all, it is not really as simple as big B little b. If it were, then we could honestly say that we expected the majority of people to be bi-sexual.

Genetics is not a matter of black and white though. It is only about 10% black and white at the far ends of the spectrum. The other 80% is shades of grey. Or would it be "hazel".

Eye color is a great example. My father has brown, my mother ... blue. The most basic example of genetics - out of four kids there is one blue eyed and one brown eyed. The other two are, well ... in between - green(ish) and "hazel". So the shades of grey come in that area - green and "hazel". They are obviously different from each other, and yet they are apparently from the same source. Where does the distinction between them start?

There is another point to this example. The eyes of the two "black-and-white-end" children are not the same shades as our parents. The brown is a little lighter - the blue a little more grey. If genetics were as simple as BB vs bb, then all of the bb eyes and all of the BB eyes would be the same as those of their source; and all of the Bb eyes would match each other. We would have no eyes which could be described as violet, steel, yellow, or "hazel". There would be no room for eyes that have "stars" of a different color in the middle (I have seen many people with eyes like these).

So, how does this type of response effect my friend who insists that, if you are genetically gay, you have no choice at all and any pretense at trying anything other than an openly gay lifestyle will result in the breaking of your spirit and ultimate demise?

It doesn't.

He has taken himself to the fringes of zealotry. If any opinion on this one item conflict with his own views, he walks away and ignores them. He refuses to even acknowledge their existence.

Maybe someday he will come to understand that if sexuality is genetic, most of us will actually fall into the realm of "hazel". Maybe he will accept the fact that most of us really do not care who he sleeps with. And maybe, just maybe, he will understand that, for the majority of people, having an issue (thought, value, etc.) shoved down their collective throat is far more repugnant than the issue itself ever would have been if left alone in the open.

And so I go on, spouting off random bits of information as I try to solve the puzzle. (And probably offending my best friend if he reads this blog ........ sorry.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Random - it is how life seems to move most of the time. It is also how my thoughts flow here. I am always finding the next tangent and following it to a different subject.

Todays subject - speaking of random - is ADD in adults. The last time I brought this subject up to a group, it was met with responses like "ADD? I just call it multi-tasking." and "...just another cop-out so that people can get out of actually working...". These were about average for the ensuing conversation. They are also about as accurate as other group labels. That is to say - not at all.
I have enough experience to know the way ADD effects people with it. What are the best ways I have heard it described.
- It is like those commercials for those hearing things, where the person can't seperate out the TV or conversation from the noise in the surrounding room; except all the noise is coming from the same place as the conversation... and it's all in my head! -
- Multi-tasking is watching things on several TVs at the same time, but you only have to watch what you think is important and you have control of the remotes. ADD is the same, except you don't know what's important and the remotes are in the next room... on auto-surf. -
- You know, some people have a one track mind. I have a twenty track mind, which would be good, except that nobody knows where the trains are going, when the tracks switch, or when they might just dead-end in a black hole. It's very confusing. -

Even with descriptions like this, it is hard to know what it is really like if you do not live with it. It is hard to get people to even talk about what it is like because adults with ADD typically do not want anyone to know because they are afraid. They do not want to be ridiculed, patronized, dismissed, or any other form of discrimination that may be heaped on them.
They do not want to be LABELED any more than any of us would want to be branded.

And so I go on, collecting random bits of information and trying to solve the puzzle.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Inside one head

Randomized - to exclusion. That is - in a sense - the way most of my life has gone. It never occurred to me that there was a name for it, let alone a treatment. I never wondered, as some others did, why I did so poorly in subjects like history, government, or other social studies when I enjoyed them so much and could usually come up with correct answers on the tests. It was never troubling that my involvement in a conversation always led off on a tangent - at least not to me. But, it was also never mentioned (within my hearing) that the way things ran through my head was not the same as most people.

I was never really ostracized. But, I never really fit in with the usual categories of people either. Typically, I would find other people like me - that is to say, misfits: the All-Star jock who aced all his classes and dreamed of being Spielberg or Lucas; the 17-year-old HS freshman stoner who could out talk the debate team (when he wasn't high); the fashion-plate princess who would not demean herself to discriminate against anyone's "lack"; or the suburbanite who knew everything about, and was able to do, everything domestic, but hated to actually do - or even talk about - any of them.

These were my friends. Not really the bulk of society. Not really the fringes. More like the "ether" that connected and buffered all the various sub-cultures of society - letting them interact or pass each other as needed. These were the people toward whom I gravitated. These were my people.

Myself?... I was - and am - less of a contradiction, and more of a randomization. I could play with the jocks, discuss with the brains, game with the geeks, move with the shakers, or fit myself in with almost any group I chose. I could be about average in any of them. A sort of jack-of-all-trades for social groups. But, I was never content in any of them. I was never satisfied to stop and do one thing - period. And that seemed to piss people off. ---Who are you?---What are you?--- Just fit in!--- Define yourself.

What about just being myself???

I do not like giving definitions to things. I am not happy with labeling things. Boxes are adaptable structures, not containers. Lines are meant to be erased, redrawn, and incorporated into something bigger. We are what we are...which is only what we want to be.

And yet... I find myself trying them on. Taking that caption for a spin around the block. "Hi, I am John Catholic" or is it "Joe Mormon"? I am a "nature-freak" and/or a "computer-geek". Am I a "multi-taking-go-getter" or is it just "ADD"? Tommorow, I will be something else... or maybe not. Whatever seems appropriate at the time. Until I find one or two that just fit. Those stay with me - whether I want them to or not.

So ... the labels I have accepted? Husband, father, smart, ADD patient, know-it-all (even though I do not), shoulder (for crying on), blunt. There are others that I am on the verge of accepting, but I do not want to mention them and predispose people to treat me a certain way before I actually deserve it.