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Mind blowing

Mind blowing
Mind blowing
Dr. Wayne Willis

As Adolf Hitler was gobbling up Europe and eyeing France and England, eminent historian Eileen Power ruminated, “My mind has been blown like a candle. I am nothing but an embodied grumble, like everyone else.”

Sadly, Power’s two images, written in 1939, fit our times.

“I am nothing but an embodied grumble.”

Dictionaries define grumble as an unhappy murmur, a growl, a discontented mood. Butterflies in the stomach, heartburn, rumbles beneath us possibly signaling an earthquake, German angst and English queasiness also come to mind.

Do you feel it? History books written 20 years from now will need 20 chapters to cover 2020’s triple whammy: a pandemic, multiple ghastly killings of black people captured on video and an economic collapse reminiscent of the Great Depression. Any wonder that one might feel like “an embodied grumble?”

Instead of saying, with Power, “My mind has been blown like a candle,” today we say, “That blows my mind!”

Two surrealities blow my mind every day now.

1. It blows my mind that an invisible, unalive microbe, so small that it would take 1,000 of them placed end to end to equal the width of one human hair, has convulsed this planet. Still, except in hospitals and nursing homes, birds chirp, children play and the moon rises on time and things look much the same.

2. It blows my mind that the epidermis covering our bodies, one millimeter deep, so thin you can see through it when holding it up to light, causes untold human misery. Multiplied millions have been, quoting anthropologist Nina Jablonski, “enslaved or hated or lynched or deprived of fundamental rights through history” because of their one-millimeter-deep epidermis.

The DNA of any two humans, black or white, is 99% identical.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Still blows my mind.