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Mixin' in the Village Gravy by Amy Magnussalvage

BLOG-Restrain or Reset

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We’ve all had this experience. In the midst of an intense conversation, we reach for someone’s name and can’t find it. We look down at the ground, furrough our brow and for a few moments focus intently on finding that name. It eludes us. Frustrated we move on. We mend the broken conversation, pick up the dropped thread of our disrupted discussion as best we can. Our failure nags us. We soldier on.


Then something odd happens. Much later as we say our goodbyes or just as we step out the door, as we drive to our next destination or as our mind settles comfortably into other work, the name pops up, unbiden, unheralded. Sing! Like a punch card spit from a mysterious black box, one perfect nugget of information is delivered to us…one we unquestionably recognize as correct.

Why is that!?!

I’ll tell you. We have more than one brain. One works like a village. Laid back, restrained. The other is a beehive, a cyclone, a megametropolis, labyrinthed, crowded, windswept and restless. Though opposed in nature, note how well they work in harmony.


I’m not good with names. When I meet a person, I get so taken by all their physical dimensions that I miss the moment where they introduce themselves. My internal rolodex is haphazardly ordered apparatus. The information gets in there. Somehow. Accessing it is the problem. I’ve learned to let my unconsciousness sort thorough those stacks…the part of my brain that’s good at exponential search.


It occurred to me this morning that I should work on organizing my internal rolodex. After all, learning is first finding out what is hard and easy for you then going about mastering both. Now that I’ve accepted that learning names is hard for me I’m obliged to address that weakness. Good news is that Tuesday I will be working at the poll. So if you haven’t voted yet or won’t go to the Board of Elections today or tomorrow for early voting, I will see you at Antioch Midwest for Tuesday’s historic vote.


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