May 26, 2021

 “Personal inspiration (like scientific discovery) can come from unexpected directions...” 

    -The Prologue to  Projections (a personal origin story of sorts–before getting to the stories that form the heart of each chapter) describes my first real interaction with a patient on the locked psychiatry unit, turning a neurosurgeon-to-be into a psychiatrist.

    "These days, I sometimes imagine seeking out that schizoaffective disorder patient, with whom I shared that heart-pounding first awakening, to sit down together for a quiet moment of communion— though it has been a long time. A receptivity to the improbable comes very close to the essence of illness on the schizophrenia spectrum, and so he might not be at all surprised to learn that his crossing of the threshold of the nurses’ station that day could have helped in its own way..." 

    In retrospect it makes some sense, though it didn't fully at the time. Now I can see that helping psychiatric patients, and writing these stories, and investigating the brain, can be all somehow the same thing: just trying to get to, and describe, a place deep within all of us-- a place that is shared.