latent gifts and crazy grace

Posted by on 02.25.11 | 2 Comments
Filed Under look yet again, unexpected grace


Derek Amato

MSN video: Ingenious Minds: Seeing Pictures in Music

Even though he had always been interested in musick Derek Amato had never played any type of music before a brain trauma.  Immediately after the trauma he began to play the piano with virtuosity.  He says he sees music in images that wash over him and insist that he play them.  The trauma somehow unleashed a latent capacity. He is lovingly called “Rainman Beethoven” by his friends and the scientists who work with him to understand the phenomenon.

It catalyzes unused and itchy neurons of mine just to think about this. And,  I’m tempted to ask my best friends to hit me on the head with a rock just to see if some latency would potentiate itself…with my luck it would be the latency to sit on the backporch and smoke cigarettes and drink dark porter dessert beers and laugh with friends.  Oh, wait.  

On a more real note, what would I wish for as an ‘acquired savant’ gift or grace? What might be latent in me, trying to find a way out of that blasted maze of a locked in, conditioned brain?  What might be searching for a  pathway of being realized?    Since I can’t even guess those graces from my current state of mind, I can only dream.

Here are the dreams of gifts I wish were latent.  To play some Coltraine as if I lived in a fetal position in a small corner his brilliant mind.  To paint just one haunting landscape, one act of daily familiarity, one beloved face with oil paints as if the extraordinary sensitivity of Gauguin lived in my hands.  To write one moviescript as if Tim Robbins were my mentor.  To be able to describe the color blue to my blind-since-birth friend.


I Raro te Oviri, Paul Gauguin, 1891

What might be your latencies?  What might be unleashed if there were new paths of expression?  What might find its way into the world if we allowed ourselves to have just one big helping of crazy grace?  And then…how do we allow this grace to overcome us?

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