what's so great about normal?

Another space in my calendar and yours.  It was hot yesterday and we left a beautiful cool lake (pond) and drove into HOT humid Boston because Matt and I were flying back to Toronto this morning. I take a shawl with me to wear on the plane because I get cold in air-conditioned air.  But in between we go from hot spot to hot spot, in and out of AC. So I was thinking....

I wonder what was the mean temperature of the great brains in history. Somehow I can't imagine someone writing the Pastoral Symphony or Hamlet if the creator's brain was too hot.  I don't think well when I'm hot. i feel like fried mush.  On the other hand, I have written good (?) poetry when I had a cold and fever - not for a long time. I must get sick again. 

Cole Porter wrote his masterpiece (Kiss Me, Kate) after his horrible accident when he was in constant pain and dependent on constant pain-killers (morphine, I think). Can you think of others who have overcome personal physical obstacles or deterrents and gone ahead to achieve greatness in spite of them?  (Define greatness.) Well, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)?  She was in lifelong pain after a traffic accident when she was 18.

If that were the only guarantee of creation and fame, then wannabe artists would be running around with their hands or feet in cold water or throwing themselves in front of (not-too-large) buses.  Obstacles are not causes of creation; they are hindrances but not preventions.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds   

Admit impediments. Love is not love   

Which alters when it alteration finds,   

Or bends with the remover to remove:   

O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, 

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;   

It is the star to every wandering bark,   

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.   

Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks   

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,   

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.   

  If this be error, and upon me prov’d,   

  I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

(Sonnet 116, Shakespeare.This poem is in the public domain.)


I guess love may be the closest  approximation to creation that most of us can hope to achieve, hot or cold, sick or not.