I went through a period of intense personal stress about 3 years ago. I had taken what I thought was my “dream job” which turned out to be not a dream so much as a nightmare. Like everyone I had experienced the stress of day-to-day living and its petty aggravation. But I had never experienced anything like this. I remember sitting in the same arm chair I now comfortably sit writing, overwhelmed with anxiety, worry and regret thinking, “man, this must be damaging my brain”.
Read about the important work of Dr. Elizabeth Gould at Princeton University on the neurobiology of stress and her chance discovery of the capacity of the brain to undergo self-renewal in this really fine article from Seed magazine.
He came home. Said nothing.
It was clear though that something had gone wrong.
He lay down fully dressed.
Pulled the blanket over his head.
Tucked up his knees.
He’s nearly forty but not at this moment.
He exists just as he did inside his mother’s womb, clad in in seven walls of skin, in sheltered darkness.
Tomorrow he’ll give a lecture on megagalatic cosmonautics,
For now, though, he’s curled up and gone to sleep.