Wednesday 26 May 2004

The Day My Mother's Head Exploded

That's the title of an audio programme written by the daughter of a victim of a ruptured Cerebral Aneurysm, and is today's Brain Link. I recommend listening to the long version.
The mother I grew up with died that day and was replaced by an entirely different person that just happens to have the same memories, and body, and family, and address as my dead mother.
How much of the personality changes are due to the gross physical insult suffered by the brain, and how much due to the psychological changes caused by a near-death experience, is unknown.
I used to be a great worrier...
No longer. Her mother doesn't sweat the small stuff any more. If she wants to burst into song, she does. Many of societal inhibitions, customs and norms are now seen with possibly a clearer perspective. Her new personality is extrovert to the point (and possibly beyond) of embarressment. But only other people get embarressed, she appears to have lost the capacity for it, and doesn't miss it one little bit.

Her daughter, the narrator, is a New Age arty trendoid sui generis. Nonetheless, she is an excellent observer and recorder, and a skilled and competent communicator. She's a flawed, sometimes cantankerous, but always gloriously and charmingly Human human being. I know of no higher honour.

I normally have little time for Superstitious, Arty New Age Trendoids. I have less time for the various Artist Support Programs, whose stable of artists usually only produce what stables normally produce, in fragrant, steaming piles. But the Jack Straw Artist Support Program (who funded the production costs), and the creator, Hannah Paylin, are exceptions. Unconventional, Quirky, but Art, and Good Art at that. May they Live Long and Prosper.

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