I wonder what my brain looks like...
I wonder what my brain looks like, now I've had a stroke.
Is it still the same as everyone else's?
When I searched for images I saw brains with parts missing. With blackened areas.
Physically I know what a brain looks like. But I think my brain is much more than what you can see if you were to open my skull.
I've always imagined my brain to be like a forest. Paths leading this way and that. My imagination saw trees and moss and mushrooms, grassy areas and sunshine, places where it rains. Some places shadowed, some places stormy and clouded. All kinds of creatures populated my brain-forest. Adventures waiting to happen.
I remember being told in the days following my stroke that it was all still there, but the pathways were mixed up. I forgot things. I didn't recognise people and items. I didn't know how to do things. Things had been rearranged.
I felt like I was lost in a darkening forest.
This is how I see my brain now (sort of):
There is still a brain-forest, still growing things. I imagine large stones in my forest, with moss and mushrooms growing on them, vines and flowers trailing here and there. The stones are the parts of my brain that have been affected by the stroke, part of the landscape, now being embraced by the new environment that's flourishing around it.
I sometimes want to rip the vines and moss away, and beat my fists against the stone, demanding that it wakes up, starts working again. I know it never will, and so I gently soothe the stones over with their vines and flowers.
I remember seeing photos of a beautiful garden in Victoria, belonging to an artist named Bruno Torfs.
I like to think of the part of my brain that was affected by the stroke as being like his garden. It's still all there, somewhere... maybe it doesn't move, maybe I only get a glimpse, maybe other people need to tell me what used to be there.
But it's my brain, and that's what I think it looks like.