In several of my recent blog postings I have touched upon two themes I believe are related to each other. One theme has been male/female differences and interactions, (see La Difference) the other theme has been about internal differences regarding parts of the brain and how they interact with each other.

 

Most people who study brain functions would tell you that different regions of the brain do indeed have different functions. They support their theses with scientific evidence. But I don’t have scientific theses. I’m just an intuitive, artist-type being. I sense that there are many internal parts that get along well-enough but don’t all think alike.  See Limbic Tango

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by how different Sam (my left brain hemisphere) and Pam (my right brain hemisphere) are from each other. Of course, just naming them Sam and Pam should be an indicator of my awareness of their differences, but it seems to go beyond that. It’s somewhat like a cat and a dog that have grown up together. They get along well enough. They even nestle together and accept each other’s comforts. But understand each other? Nuh-uh.

Sam is unquestionably the dog in this imagined relationship. He’s eager to perform and eager to please. He has boundless energy and he seems content doing the same thing over and over, as if he just can’t get enough of reminding me of that one song or advertising jingle that he repeats for me. He has nearly driven me to distraction, especially when I am trying to sleep, by reminding me, around 100 times, about the glories of being an Oscar Mayer Weiner, or, when my son was young, how the wheels on the bus did indeed go, “round and round.” Like a dog engaged in a game, he would just wear me out, rather than stop from sheer exhaustion or lose interest in the game. He’s bright in his own way, but when he is not actively engaged, he presents himself to me like the dog that has delivered the stick at my feet and is crouching in anticipation of the next, totally repetitive challenge. Crouching and panting in anticipation of being spurred into action, with his little brain saying, “I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m ready! I’m still ready! etc.” His energy just wears me out at times.

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Pam, the cat side, revels in relaxation. She can be very fast when conditions warrant action, but until then, she’d just as soon observe the world through her ears, nose and whiskers, rather than through her eyes. Using the eyes takes far too much concentration and energy, and she only uses the minimal amount of energy for any given task. She’s very efficient that way. Why should she disturb her slumber if she can simply rotate an ear and size up the sensory input?

Sam thinks Pam is a nice, warm, albeit, funny smelling, critter that he finds familiar and comforting. He’s intrigued by her approach to life, which he imagines he’s protecting, since he can’t imagine surviving for very long without being constantly on alert.

Pam thinks that Sam is a big, comfortable clod, who wastes all his energy doing mindless and pointless things for virtually no conceivable gain. She’s impressed with just how much energy Sam seems to have, but she thinks he’s a fool for forever wearing himself out with such needless activity. Pam mothers Sam in some ways, allowing him to foray out into the world on his own path, yet staying close enough to help him during his inevitable time of need.

Occasionally, Sam runs into some vexatious conundrum or other and he starts bobbing his canine head and whining, “What’s this? What’s happening? I don’t understand! I don’t understand! How can I understand this action, this event, this thing?” Sam is very stressed under these conditions. That’s when Pam strolls forward, nonchalantly putting one pussy-foot in front of another, as if she would be comfortable on a tight-rope strung above Niagara Falls, and, in her inimitably feline way, poses a question that stings Sam with its understated wisdom – “So what?” she says, “You don’t need to understand everything. It’s past. You’re still alive. Move on.”

Sam wants to stand there and growl and bark until the offending thing yields under the onslaught of his ferocious energy. But when that fails to generate results, Sam lets the self-assured Pam stroll between his galumphing paws and watches her incredulously as she sits and begins licking her paws and rubbing her ears, seemingly paying no attention what-so-ever to that which has Sam’s rage in a braid. Then Sam “gets it.” He doesn’t need to do anything except pay less attention to whatever it was that roused his ire. In time, this too passes. Pam strolls back for a snooze in the sunshine and Sam noses down to join her. “C’mon, big boy,” says Pam, “let’s take a nap together. It’ll be a new world when we wake up.”

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“Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmph!” Sam semi-groans and whines, as he rests his big head on his paws and goes to sleep.

Now, lest you think that Sam and Pam have gambolled away, or even gambled away, all of Jake’s marbles, I can assure you that my stories are for illustrative purposes only. I still function quite well in the walk-about world and that it is still possible for me to refer to myself in the first person. And my marbles, including an ample number of cat’s eyes, are still safe. I keep them in a jar, on a shelf in my bedroom.

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