Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I heard about a study done with people who were in a coma. The researchers hooked them up to an MRI. They asked them questions -" imagine watching a tennis match." They saw a particular part of the brain light up at the thought of this. "So, imagine you are walking around your house" - another part of the brain sparked. Two different sections, two different thoughts. These people were in a coma. They were thought to be in a vegetative state.

"If you are in pain, imagine you are watching Tennis. If you are not in pain, imagine walking around your house" A yes no answer. A conversation of a kind.

I stood by his hospital bed and he could say yes. He could not say no. I remember this, but the lack of a clear 'yes' seemed to indicate he was not completely agreeing. This was an important step at the time. This was a way of communicating. I remember struggling to form questions that were simple. True or false? But life is more complex than this. I struggled to find the simple things in life but there were none.

This is an interraction that I must replicate. A man. An ex-wife, the simlicity of yes, no answers, the complexity of the relationship that they are dragging behind them, the enormity of the journey that may lie ahead.

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