If I didn’t let my intellect frame my decisions, where would impulse lead me?
One of my very earliest memories is from before I could walk, so I would guess under a year of age, when I had the impulse to be alone in the snow after a tremendous blizzard. I crawled off into a snowbank near where my mother was shoveling the walk, and dug a cave for myself. I used a teaspoon she had given me to play with in the snow. The cave was larger than me and I was down at the bottom in the glow light makes through snow. It was quiet, I was protected by the snow, I was supremely happy. My mother called for me a good long time before she found the hiding place. She drug me out by my little feet I think. She was very angry. My feet hurt exquisitely when they began to thaw, which didn’t seem fair at all after such a good time.
A similarly odd memory is from when I was about seven, swimming in the bottom of a deep section of the Catskill Creek near Freehold. I remember being blissfully happy swimming underwater for a very long time. I discovered that I could breathe underwater without coming up for air, that I could breath the water itself like my fish ancestors from way back. I had gills or something by my ears, very exciting. I had found a place of special powers. Except that when my mother dragged me out of the water she said I was drowning. She carried me upside down by the feet to the stream bank and deposited me on the rocks. She was furious. I was finding it very hard to breathe regular air.
Later, I tempered impulse with intellect. I started to ask, was mother going to drag me out of here and be angry? Much later, I channeled impulse into other areas like experiments. What if this, what if that? Safer places where I wasn’t the subject and the outcomes did not include my own death.
If I didn’t let intellect frame my decisions, I wouldn’t be here to write about it.
How do you frame your decisions, with impulse or intellect?
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