Beyond the Brain

The first thing to know is that I’m sick right now. Dizzy, coughing, nausea coming and going. Is it wise for me to hunker down, to feel the energy of healing coming into me, to be alone, to let go of communicating with the world? Or … should I put myself out there, most immediately in writing this blog post? Well, you see the results in front of your eyes.

The thoughts in my head are jambling away, about how I should be in bed with covers tucked under my chin. Maybe they’re right. But I feel something pulling me forward into contact with the human race … and so I tap. I’m not seeking sympathy or praise or assistance. I just want to communicate, in hopes that my struggle of the moment will speak to some of you. To what extent do we need to be stopped by illness? I don’t want to be stupid about this and ignore my body’s needs but there’s a whole wide world out there to give to that isn’t going away just because I’m not feeling well.


I left home yesterday in Scarlet for the trip to Toronto. In the pocket of my coat, lovingly cradled, was a ticket for a Friday evening concert. I was going to sit right in the middle of the front row to hear the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in Koerner Hall. It’s such a beautiful room, hosting 1100 guests, under a stunning sculpture hanging from the ceiling. It looks like the flow of a violin up there, looking down, blessing us. I’ll be so close that the sweat on brows will fly through the air as the bodies move to the music.

The drive to Toronto was slow and uneventful. I knew that freezing rain was closing in on us from behind but I had left just early enough to escape the slip-slidin’-away.

Anne, my B&B hostess, told me on arrival that I was just in time to partake of the free Thursday night dinner at the church a block away. Yay! “Murray”, a young Ministry student, welcomed me with song and guitar, and then 1-1. He actually remembered me from about eight weeks ago when I first enjoyed the companionship of the church members and guests.

I sat and smiled with a woman named “Brenda”, who grew up in Eritrea in Africa and now enjoys Toronto. We laughed a lot.

It was time to leave. I put on my coat and walked over to say goodbye to Murray, who was still eating.

“Are you going to another concert this trip?”

[Wow. How does he remember this stuff?]

“Yes. Tomorrow night I’m going to listen to an orchestra at the Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor Street.”

[I pull out the ticket and glance at the young woman sitting across from Murray. She’s looking at me … and beaming.]


Okay, Bruce. what exactly happened next? Something was going on that didn’t involve your brain. There was no debating, no list of pros and cons. There merely was a hand moving.


I placed the ticket in front of her. “For you.”

Joy exploded from her eyes. She works at a grocery store and got on her phone, trying to find a friend to switch shifts with her. Four calls later … Bingo!

“You have two tickets, right?”

“No, just one.”

“Oh, so you can’t make it.”

[Silence. Looking into each other’s eyes.]

“I’m giving it to you.”

[Silence. Looking into each other’s eyes.]

“Oh my God. Thank you. This is the best birthday present ever.”


I’m no better and no worse than anyone else
No calculation moved my hand
So who did?

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