I’ve discovered a show on the Science channel called Ingenious Minds. The series presents the stories of several savants.
Some of these are not your every day savants who were born with special gifts, and yet have other disabilities. They have what is termed “acquired savantism.”
The acquired savant is a previously non-disabled person who develops savant-like abilities after a traumatic injury or disease to the central nervous system (CNS). Typically some sort of head injury causes the neurons to fire uniquely, changing the architecture of the brain.
You have Alonzo Clemons who had a head injury at three years old, and from then on was able to sculpt animals from memory, in minutes, and with perfect detail. There’s Derek Amato, who at 40 years old suffered a traumatic head injury. Afterwards, he had an incredible ability to play the piano at the highest level; an instrument he had never played before.
As I was watching Derek play the piano on the show, it dawned on me … like numbers coming to Rain Man:
I AM A BLOGGING SAVANT!!
No, seriously. Ask MLB.
Let me explain.
Okay, maybe she can’t prove that I’m a blogging savant, but she can attest to the fact that I’ve been hit on the head one, or maybe 100, times too many.
Let me give a couple of examples that stand out from childhood:
1) I’m playing baseball in the street – yeah, we did that then, and yes, it was kind of dumb – and my brother hits a long fly ball.
Like the great Willie Mays, I want to make that great over-the-head catch, so I streak for the ball and glance over my shoulder, and then …
That was the sound of my face hitting the side of a steel mailbox. Mind you, back in that day, mailboxes were solid and cemented into the ground. Not sure how long I was down, or how my mom got the blood stains out of that sweatshirt.
2) Sandlot football game in a friend’s back yard. I’m playing receiver, going out for a pass. The ball is coming to my out-stretched hands, when …
This time it’s the sound of my eight year old skull hitting the – you guessed it – steel clothesline pole. Yes, I did finish the game, thank you. Who knew what a concussion was then, but I’m pretty sure I got another one from this hit.
Lord only knows how many more times I was hit in the head by someone else’s head, knee, elbow, sporting equipment, or football, baseball, or basketball. It must have been hundreds of times.
All this explanation leads me back to being a blogging savant.
Let’s put it to the test:
- Do I see words forming in my mind, or on the paper, or screen?
Why, yes I do.
- Is my writing so amazingly gifted?
Hmm, let’s leave that one as a ‘Maybe.’
And, sorry, friends, these are rhetorical questions.
- Have I had a traumatic injury to the CNS?
Yes, too many to count.
- Do I suffer from other “disabilities” since I’ve been hit in the head?
I believe those around me would answer this with a ‘YES.’
- Is blogging something that I “have to do” as an obsession?
Yes, for certain.
Well, after responding affirmatively to four out of five questions, it’s pretty obvious that I am in fact …
A BLOGGING SAVANT!
Or, maybe like George Costanza said on Seinfeld, I’m just an idiot.
Do you have any savant-like qualities?
Do you know any savants?