Have you been enjoying the first days of spring like I have? My own way to say good-bye to winter is to pick up dried leaves and flowers from last year. I love their faded look and texture when they are pale and brittle. Beautiful and melancholic at the same time.
The handkerchief linen has a similar feel. It’s old, faded and has yellowed over the years. It feels dry and delicate just like the flowers. Touching both has to be done with care as though not to break their beauty.
Totally unrelated, but too interesting not to comment on: yesterday I read a fascinating article in the NY Times “The Brain on Fiction” by Annie Murphy Paul. It’s about the latest scientific research regarding what happens in our heads as we read a novel.
“In a study led by the cognitive scientist Véronique Boulenger, of the Laboratory of Language Dynamics in France, the brains of participants were scanned as they read sentences like “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.” The scans revealed activity in the motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements. What’s more, this activity was concentrated in one part of the motor cortex when the movement described was arm-related and in another part when the movement concerned the leg.
The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated.”
Stories don’t only stimulate the brain, but also change the way we behave socially in real life:
“…. individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective….”
Haven’t we all (or those of us who like to read) suspected that reading was more than just a great past-time? I immediately went to the library to find myself a good novel.
Have you have been reading any great fiction lately?