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Brain Pain

The old adage, “When you point your finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back at you,” came to mind today.

While walking along Del Monte Beach in Monterey, I was quietly criticizing every jogger and walker who passed me wearing ear buds, i-pods, Mod Squads, whatever the darned things are (I know they’re not transistor radios).

Can’t these people unplug from the music and listen to the sounds of nature? I mean, what is more delicious than the cries of ocean birds over the rush of waves; little pebbles clacking as the tide retreats; dogs yapping with glee; the flap of a kite or a lazy bi-plane circling overhead?

Then it dawned on me: I don’t plug into music when I’m out on my nature walks because there’s ALWAYS a danged song running through my brain. It’s usually the last thing I heard on the radio and today it was Simon and Garfunkel’s “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” with a blasted chaser of “Cecelia,”

No matter how hard I try, I can’t tune the station in my head out. It’s open 24-7.

The other day, a guy in my support group said, “Once I got ‘Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care’ in my brain and it wouldn’t shut up for two whole months. I tore at my hair – what’s left of it – and swore and tried everything under the sun but it persisted like a tick on a mule dear. I finally went over the edge and headed to the hospital to be admitted at Garden Pavilion and, thank GOD -, it stopped.”

My reply? “Thanks a LOT for sharing! Now the bloody thing will be in MY brain all day.”

I am reminded of another adage, “The mind is a dangerous neighborhood; you should never go in there alone.”

Two things, however, will stop the musical obsessions: when I meditate and ask myself, “I wonder what my next thought is going to be?” Or I sit and try to identify every single sound I can hear: ocean, birds, horns honking, alarms going off, a Harley blasting by.

Just thought I’d share that in case I’ve implanted some repetitious songs in your head...

P.S. Oh! I just remembered some dandies: “Pop! Goes the Weasel” “This land is your land” “The itsy bitsy spider . . .”

So, Sue me.



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