First, I can't tell you how nice it is for me to see a "like" after an entry. It means I'm not writing into a void. Thank you. Next, I have gone over a folder labelled blogs and thought I could pass some of the subjects on to you for you to write your own, or at least to ponder a bit (to wonder while you ponder?).
"Insomnia and the Poet" This was the subject of an essay in the NYT by a professor at the University of Virginia, who has edited an anthology of insomnia poems, a poet herself. The article BTW is an excerpt from DRAFT, a series on writing, at nytimes.com/opinionator, and it's fun. I had a lot of my own thoughts to add to the creative contemplation of insomnia, or dreams. My father was a doctor and discounted all dreams, attributing them to breathing problems. Think about it. Do you, in fact, dream more when you have a cold or sinusitis? In the context of dreams, Crick** - I'll look him up in a minute - one half of the Nobel prize-winning team we associate with the double helix - said that all dreams were leftovers from life, detritus of the previous day's activities. A recent NYT cover story corroborated this, saying that dreams are just the clean-up program clearing the brain for the next onslaught. I agree with this up to a point, but I also believe in "teaching dreams," cited by Jung to be a source of guidance or comfort in need. I won't go into that now. Lets just say that II'm interested in the contradiction and also in the paradox.
I found a 4-year-old review of a book that caught my attention, not enough for me to read yet but enough for me to think my own thoughts. It's titled "Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience," and we could all use some. (Note that neuroscience is hotter now than it was in 2010.) The author, Stephen S. Hall, concludes that "Wisdom does - and does not - increase with age." Thanks a bunch. I could have told you that. Still it's worth more than a couple of blogs. Yours for the taking.
Another review, dating from 2009, from the Times Literary Supplement this time, considers "Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain 1750 - 1850" by Devoney Looser (great name - she's a woman, BTW). It's interesting because of the attitudes towards older women writers then that Looser points out. The publications of older women were "typically identified with their superannuated bodies." Has the attitude changed that much? Lots to think about and report there, well worth a blog or two.
That's enough for today. More anon.
** Many people believe that American biologist James Watson and English physicist Francis Crick discovered DNA in the 1950s. In reality, this is not the case. Rather, DNA was first identified in the late 1860s by Swiss chemist Friedrich Miescher. Then, in the decades following Miescher's discovery, other scientists--notably, Phoebus Levene and Erwin Chargaff--carried out a series of research efforts that revealed additional details about the DNA molecule, including its primary chemical components and the ways in which they joined with one another. Without the scientific foundation provided by these pioneers, Watson and Crick may never have reached their groundbreaking conclusion of 1953: that the DNA molecule exists in the form of a three-dimensional double helix.