I’m Just Sayin’

I’ve never been able to commit to memory the differences between “left brain/right brain” functions; which is kind of ironic since my strong suit is exactly the kind of thinking (right brain?) that would enable me to do that.  Where I usually fall pitifully short is in non-linear, abstract (left brain?) thinking. This is most obvious (to me) when I need to orient myself relative to east, west, north and south positions.  The only way I can keep this kind of stuff straight is to envision a map of the U.S. and use that as a reference.  This means that I often have to stand on my head to get the directions to coincide with that image.

Another area where my brain lets me down is when language is used in a way that doesn’t follow the norms that I’m used to.  For example, occasionally when I’m talking to my friend, Nod, we have a disagreement in our recollections.  And that point, Nod is quick to pull out a quote from William Faulkner’s Light In August, “Memory believes before knowing remembers”.  And each and every time I hear this, I have no f**k’in’ idea what it means.  Although I love the way it sounds –and I wish that I was the one who had written it—  I remain clueless as to its meaning and Nod has to explain it to me.  We repeat this exercise from time to time. (I’ll pass on his email, cell # and social security number if you’d like an explanation.)

Another good example of my deficiency with abstract language is a quote that I read a while back in an interview with Philip Roth in the New York Times Book Review. He had just announced that he was no longer going to be writing.  Coincidentally, I had just informed my readers that I was going to be writing even more and, at the time, I thought that dovetailed quite nicely with Mr. Roth’s proclamation; that there might be a seamless transition between our two offerings and I would inherit his mantle.  I would have been happy to do that even while knowing I would be accused endlessly of  extreme misogyny.  A small price to pay, I thought.

Then I read his interview and realized that I was beyond delusional . . . that my (right?) brain functions were a small fraction of his. In an off the cuff way, he responded to his interviewer with an incredibly imgres-2erudite analysis of his writing and his critics, all the while using literary references most of which are unknown to me.  I guess that’s why I write blogs and he writes masterpieces

Towards the end of the interview, when Roth is asked to explain what kind of writer he is, he answers, ” I am who I don’t pretend to be.” I’ve read that sentence over and over, and though I’d give anything to have been the one to say it, I still have no idea what it means. I think I may have to give Nod a call.

 

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4 Responses to “I’m Just Sayin’”

  1. apt3f Says:

    Well done – I can relate -sadly …

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    You have to stand on your head too? Hard to believe.

  3. Don Says:

    I don’t recall us having any occasional disagreements. (Hint: I’m just saying this to provide you with the opportunity to use the Faulkner quote.)

  4. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    What…you think I’m an idiot! okay, okay–I’ll say it. here goes:–Memory something or other while …whatever. Oh.. i know, a rumor make its half-way round the world before the truth puts it shoes on.

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