What I know about the electro-chemistry of the brain is mostly a pastiche of misinformation gathered from a few hundred hours of sci-fi, a semester of half-understood sensation and perception, and a fleeting understanding of basic biology.
One of the most interesting things to me about how we think is the way we can have multiple opinions about the same thing at the same time.
I was out running today- it was 50 and sunny and unbelievable. At 7:30 am I was toweling off from my shower, cold from the water and wondering how, how would I ever be ready again to swim in a race, how would the water ever be warm again. Silly thoughts, but...
And there I was, four and a half hours later, running in just racing kit, sweating, outside and happy about it. I was about 35 minutes into my run, the wind was blowing steady and hard into my face, and that was when Alanis Morissette came on- 'On the Tequila'.
I like Alanis Morissette. It's part soft spot and part that I can draw quite a bit out of songs like Ironic, which is, oddly enough, a great workout song. However, I have never been sold on 'On The Tequila', especially when working out. The song is a fine song, I'm sure, but it has everything that doesn't work for me in a song. It's light, it's an affirmation of life, and even at it's most perceptive it treats the subjects of that perception with kid gloves- like 'Thought You Should Know' on prozac and without the f word.
When running, this is not a song that helps me. And yet, as I reached back to shuffle on to the next song, I stopped, considered whether or not I should listen to the song again anyway, a part of me convinced I either need to keep giving the song a chance, or even that I need to let music like this into my mindset. This is definitely thinking on the blade of dichotomy.
So I left the song on, I ran fairly well, and I came away thinking the same thing about the song I had before it started. It didn't make me a more mellow, introspective person (good luck with that), but it didn't ruin my run.
Still, when the next song came on- Linkin Park's Bleed it Out- I immediately picked it up, and when I reached the four lane section of route 34 I had to time the crossing of safely against the light, I was running off the hook.
Then some Nickelback came on and everything was good....