Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

(This is my first time to participate in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, and it’s just because I saw the theme and remembered this photo I took two mornings ago.) 

I took a very early morning trip two days ago –at 4:30 A.M. to be exact, and it was an hour and a half hour drive to a resort on top of a hill. 

Though I wasn’t happy about waking up at 3 in the morning,  the sight that welcomed me at 6 A.M.  truly woke me up and made me feel ready to face the day better than a goood cup of coffee could (hmm, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. I need to have my coffee first thing in rhe morning!) 

It was a littte cloudy, and there was a soft breeze blowimg and birds making morning music,  when I saw these bungalows and the green lawn in  the foreground of cloudy skies. It was such a quiet scene that Wordsworth’s words came to mind :”the very houses seem asleep.”

I am a morning person, and I love bathing in  the beauty of early morning — clean, cool.air, a quiet place save for the birds’ simging or the rustling of the leaves as a gentle breeze blows. 

That’s better than coffee (but I’d still need my cofee. ♥)

Are we really what we eat? 

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Does coffee have any effect on you? Does chocolate?

Coffee is my non-human best friend. It gave me energy when I most needed it after my son was born. Though sleep-deprived, I still needed to function efficiently and coffee made it possible to stay awake and teach at eight in the morning, come home and feed the baby, and do housework, and prepare lessons, etc. I am forever grateful to the person that invented coffee drink.

My son used to have laughing fits even when there’s nothing visibly funny, especially after having his then favorite breakfast of peanut butter on toast. Several people told me back then to just let it be because he’s a “happy boy.” I also witnessed how chocolate could make him unbearably hyperactive.  His laughing fits and hyperactivity stopped when we put him on GF/CF diet. I am forever grateful to the person that came up with the GF/CF diet for people with ASD.

Reading about autism and diet, and books on neurology especially by Dr. Oliver Sacks, and witnessing firsthand the effects of medicine on my leukemic mother’s mind,  made me wonder if we are nothing but mere slaves to every single thing that is already in or enters our body — food, medicine, bacteria, chemicals, etc.

For example, what we call personality can easily be changed, not by our will to change (that’s not easy at all), but by lesions in the  brain.

In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, Dr. Sacks wrote about Greg who, as a young man in the 60’s, rebelled against convention, took drugs to seek a “higher consciousness,” later dropped drugs to seek this “higher consciousness” in religion, namely Hare Krishna. His first year at the temple saw him as obedient, pious. Then he started losing his eyesight which the temple residents took to mean his “inner light was growing. ” Greg was also becoming more withdrawn which again, people interpreted as becoming “enlightened.” Long story short, it was only when his parents insisted on taking him to the doctor that it was discovered that Greg had a growing tumor in his brain.

     “Brain imaging had shown an enormous midline tumor, destroying the pituitary gland and the adjacent optic chiasm and tracts and extending on both sides into the frontal lobes. It also reached backward to the temporal lobes, and downward to the diencephalon, or forebrain. At surgery, the tumor was found to be benign, a meningioma—but it had swollen to the size of a small grapefruit or orange, and though the surgeons were able to remove it almost entirely, they could not undo the damage it had already done.”

This brain damage radically changed Greg’s personality. In the hospital “his seeming serenity (actually blandness), gave him an appearance of innocence and wisdom combined, gave him a special status on the ward, ambiguous but respected, a Holy Fool.”

Many other patients written about in this book showed major changes in their personalities after suffering from brain injury.

This, then, made me wonder if we have any independent will of our own at all? If the decisions that we make are truly our own, or are mere results of these little things in our body that ultimately feed our brain and change the way we think, speak and behave.

Alcohol and drugs sure can influence the way we think or behave. Children with ASD behave differently and sense things differently when they are overstimulated or not. Neurotypical people take all kinds of medication or drinks to make them feel better or think more clearly.

I used to think that the expression “You are what you eat” only referred to physical health. Now I’m beginning to think that that applies to our mental health as well.

(This is just a draft of what I really wanted to write. I’ll rewrite this when I have more time to be alone and think!)

Sunday Coffee

My fave coffee shop needs no advertising, so I'm using this photo instead which I got from this site http://www.catholicvote.org/caffeinated-graces-or-why-giving-up-coffee-is-a-very-very-bad-idea/

My fave coffee shop needs no advertising, so I’m using this photo instead which I got from this site 

She decided not to ask him to meet up with her this time. No pressure. She knew he was busy. She would just wait for him to ask her out. And it happened on a Sunday morning. He invited her to have coffee with him. She was walking down the road going to the coffee shop when something told her to look behind, and sure enough, he was pulling up to let her inside the car.

She thought she had changed, that “it” was no longer there. Yet, as she sat next to him, and watched him drive, she realized, “it” was still there. That high-school-girl feeling of actually sitting next to the guy you really, really like.  And she just sat there, not flirting, not trying to be cute, just enjoying the feeling of youth and excitement.

And that felt good. To know that even though she was now with somebody else, and he was with somebody else, and they could never be what they used to be, share what they used to share, that she could still feel like this when she’s with him .

She didn’t see him again after that Sunday coffee. Yet it was enough. She had her fill.