Slices of Life By: Jill Pertler-If I only had a brain… or two
February 1, 2013
My son made me a brain in art class. Yeah, so now I have two. Brains, that is. When I’m counting sons, I have three. Therefore, I have more sons than brains – but please don’t tell them I told you so. I think giving your mom a brain is a useful and thoughtful gift. The action doesn’t in any way intimate that she needs a brain, in any way. I don’t think. My brain – made in ceramics class – is painted a glossy turquoise and dotted with a glaze called cumulous cloud, which produces a uniquely ethereal appearance. Its hollow interior is filled with little clay balls that rattle when shaken. Maybe my son put them inside so people wouldn’t call me an airhead. A single word is etched on the base: “Mom,” which when turned upside down becomes “Wow,” so in essence the one word acts as two – sort of like my brains. I keep my brain sitting on the table beside the computer. It’s a handy location. Unfortunately, my boys experience an irresistible attraction to it, so I often find myself saying things like “Keep your hands off my brain,” or “Has anyone seen my brain?” The other day, I’d had enough of their antics (they’d taken to hiding my brain). I got angry and possibly raised my voice a decibel or two. They looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Which I guess, technically, I had. (I found it later, in the kitchen next to the coffee maker.) We’ve since had a meeting of the minds – my two, their three – and have decided physically tampering with your mom’s brain might be cruel and unusual, not to mention punishable by family law. They’ll think twice before touching, transferring or tossing my brain hither and yon ever again. There are inherent benefits to having two brains. Expressions like, “Two heads are better than one,” and “Put your heads together,” were invented for a reason. Right now, I’m operating with double brainpower. You should see how fast I’m typing this column. We all understand the concept of multi-tasking. Consider multi-braining. Yeah, now I’ve got you thinking. Sometimes in life, we joke about the subjects most serious to us. My son made me a brain in ceramics class and I pretend to be make light and laugh, but the gift is steeped in meaning not lost on either of my cerebral cortices. The brain sitting on the table next to my computer represents Alzheimer’s disease. Darn stuff runs in my family; I lost my mom two years ago to it. Alzheimer’s is like a cloud – cumulous or not – hanging over my family, and specifically yours truly. My son knows this. So he did what he could to help; he made me a brain – decorated in my favorite colors in the most elaborate fashion possible – because he wants to give me the gift of a beautiful mind. Something I just might need some day. What can I do, but be awestruck by the sentiment behind the turquoise brain with the cumulus cloud glaze and the deep and sensitive meaning behind it? I think it’s one of the most thoughtful, loving and heartfelt gifts I’ve ever received. If someone offered to pick my brain, this one would be it. At least I think so. A photo of the ceramic brain will be posted on the Facebook Slices of Life page on February 4. Check it out. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit her website at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.
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