My sister and I were talking today about different ways of knowing and understanding. Our conversation touched on acknowledging our strengths and using those gifts to the best of our ability. Mel knows I love words and tend to use writing as a means of clarifying and of making sense of things. For her, using movement and engaging her body in a task serve a similar purpose. She explained, "Sometimes I can't find the words to express what I mean. For me, it's more important to know and live the thing than it is to find words to describe it."
I told her about this street I love to visit because there is a windchime that I can walk past that has a particularly evocative sound. I mentioned that I go there on blustery days just to hear its sweet music, for it calls to me on a visceral level. When I stood on the sidewalk today with eyes closed as the wind whipped my hair, the song stirred up feelings and brought my dear father to mind. Tears fell and I stood still.
Part of me wanted to know why this sweet music brought my father to mind, and so I poked around on the web for some sort of concrete evidence; you know, an explanation in words. I had to laugh when this popped up:
Brain regions in green responded more strongly to familiar versus unfamiliar songs. Regions in red responded most strongly to strongly memory-evoking songs. Areas in blue responded more when a song was experienced as pleasing. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) shows combined effects of familiarity and autobiographical salience (shown in yellow).
I want to be like my younger sister when I grow up. I want to "know and live the thing" and have that be enough.