Sunday, 23 February 2014

While god is sleeping

I have developed a working hypothesis about my son's brain.
"So, why you need a working hypothesis about your son's brain?" is probably the first question that pops up in your mind.
Well, he's different. Like a cat amongst dogs. Us being the dogs in this case.
When you try to understand him intuitively, you won't get very far. His tail up does not necessarily mean that he is in a good mood, as we dogs might think.  So we need an extra pair of glasses when we look at him, otherwise he's just a fuzzy enigmatic boy-like humanoid.
Revolution in the head
And of course my hypothesis may be totally flawed, there could be a whole host of other things wrong with him: It could be a food allergy, it could be schizophrenia, me and Marjon just sucking as parents, he may be possessed by a demon, et cetera. But then again, I am one of the people closest to him, so my view should account for something. And I based it for a large part on what the psychologists and the pediatricians told me.
My hypothesis is thus: Maus' brain is alway in a state of revolution. There is a constant cyclone of mingled thoughts, impressions, affections and emotions turning and twisting in his head. And this constant turmoil keeps him from reacting adequately, keeps him from forming an understanding about the world around him and of the people therein.

Maus scored rather low on an IQ, roundabout 52/56 or so, on the cognitive and performance part. And that puzzled me. His eyes always look so bright and lively. Intelligent.

Torn -  c jenne Bleijenburg 
I know he is a bright kid. I can feel that, somehow. That may be a totally useless proposition about him, cause it may never show up, it may never materialize. Like a tree falling in a forest where no one sees it, it might just as well not be true. Maybe my other two boys can throw crocodiles all the way to the moon, but as there are no crocodiles here we will never know.
But nevertheless, I believe there is an intelligent kid somewhere in there, in this strange little boy. Like a bird in a cage. And strange he is. As soon as you start a conversation with him you notice there is something different. He usually starts with a funny or quircky remark, and from there on the dialogue rapidly goes haywire. Talking like he is a Formula 1 car trying to drive a small countryside road full of twists and turns.

"So he is not that smart, but you believe he is intelligent, " you will say, "Does not sound like a very consistent story here. How you reconcile these logically conflicting propositions?"

Well, watch me!

I think it is like this:
Due to the distorted information processing in his brain, where some parts don't seem to coƶperate as they should, he is living in a world totally different from ours. What he sees and understands, and what we see and understand, are totally different things. Our world and his world are fundamentally incommensurable. There is no rock bottom proof I can give you for this, just circumstantial evidence. Like the way he talks: Sometimes words just seem to seep out of him, weird words, beautiful words, contractions and sentences like exotic birds and biotopes. He speaks like a poet, but a poet from another country using a misprinted dictionary. And a poet who thinks repetition is a poetic form. And funny as what he says sometimes is, it also contains an element of despair.
I think the source of this mismatching poetry is this twister of thoughts and impressions in his brain.

It may be a stupid sideway, but when I look at him I often think of Berkeley's explanation for the continuity of the phenomena in the world.  (Which really made me laugh the first time I read it.) Berkeley thought that sensible things do not have an independent existence, but exist only as collections or corgeries of ideas in the mind. And that then raises the question - how come objects seem to exist continuously, even when no (finite) minds are watching it.
When you put your lunch in a box, the lunch is still there when you open the box three hours later.
Berkeley explains this by stating that: This is proof for the existence of God. Cause he's the one that looks at all things all the time. So they don't disappear. DUH!
Extrapolating this conclusion it is also proof for god having eyes that are lubricated very differently from our eyes, cause it implicates that this god may never blink.

I think Maus is lost in a world without this god, without Berkeleys god, where people, things and situations disappear and reappear. There is no encompassing structure in his world. It is a fragmental world; conceptually, spatially and temporarily. Looking at him with this in mind explains a lot of his behavior. Though it also gives me a rather powerless feeling. Because I have no god to place into his world that will make things right. I cannot change the way his brains work.
But I hope and think that, growing up, his mind will become stronger, and we can give him the mental tools with which he will be able to tame the turmoil, to fight the twisters, and, though more distracted, more careful and conscious of every move and detail around him than most of us, I desperately hope that he will be able to find his way in, and connect to this here world I live in.

Saturday, 1 February 2014


My third son is kind of an astronaut. He regards his own body as a suit, just barely attached to himself.
I often worry about him flying too high, or floating too far away, that he won't be able to return to this here earth I live on. To the trees, the cars and the birds with no names.
He is an astronaut lost somewhere in his own mind.

The messages he sends also are disturbing and not always understandable. The words are all mixed up it seems, scarred by static interference. And when I ask him something his answers seem like answers to questions I asked him weeks ago, or questions I will ask him in a year or two.

Sometimes then, when I am talking to him, I'm scared that I will never reach him again. That someone, someone scary, someone inside, recorded his voice a long time ago, and tries to answer my questions with samples of these recordings. Carefully assembled sentences, but just words, no meaning. Words like flees.

But ever so often he returns. From where-ever. My son. I can see his eyes seeing me. And he is just a kid, a boy, no pressure suit, no empty space between us.
He cuddles up to me, like the other ones did, and do.
Tickle me daddy, tickle me! Throw me in the air!
I love that, him laughing, the bed dangerously creaking every time he lands on it. I love to throw him high up in the air.

But never too high.
Because he's getting rather heavy lately.
And you never know how long he will stay up there......

Maus 2013 - c Jenne Bleijenburg

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Being Maus - introduction

Together with my sister Jenne Bleijenburg (photographer) I've started this blog about my third son, Maus. It's not that my other two sons are less interesting, but Maus is our only Wolf child. Sometimes Jenne will add photo's to one of my texts, and sometimes one of her pictures will urge me to write something. Apart from that I steal pictures from the web without any scrupules.
This is Jenne's website, and this is a piece I wrote about her work for the Keep on dreaming exposition in New York, Amsterdam and Tokio.

As I am Dutch, there is also a more or less synchronical Dutch version of this blog. As the particular language sometimes forks off thoughts in a different direction, the one is not an exact translation of the other. (Just as the current english queen Elisabeth II can not be converted to our current king Willem Alexander by some finite set of conversion rules....)

Maus & me  -  c Jenne Bleijenburg

I realise that in writing this blog, I might be violating Maus' privacy. After all, I publish stories about him without his consent. So I worry that he might be disturbed by this when he is older.
I sincerely try  to walk a tightrope here.
And to be honest, I am not sure about this blog in this sense. There are ethical as well as motivational components to this.
One of the reasons for this blog is to promote my sisters photography, but I could do that in another way, writing about another subject.
Another reason is that I love to write, to take the time and think things over. And as my youngest son is rather a large part of my life, he is one of the subjects I think about a lot.
There is also a vanity part, probably large, of me wanting to show off how well I write or what interesting thoughts I have.....

On the other hand, the stories here are mostly just my personal ramblings on about a subject, just taking Maus as a starting point. He is like the muse of this blog, not necessarily the subject.

All things considered, it might be better to simply add a disclaimer.

Any resemblance in the stories in this blog to real persons, events or situations is purely coincidental!

And me, I also might be totally someone else.