On Yamhill Street I imagined the intralaminar nucleus, a kind of doughnut of cells within the thalamus, is an intriguing structure. Its nerve cells send out long axons that reach to every part of the cerebral cortex, Significantly, it is a very great paradox that liquid--the unformed water of life--and the stone--the most solid and dead thing--are, according to the alchemists, one and the same thing. That refers to those two aspects of the realization of the Self: something firm is born, beyond the up and down of life, and at the same time there are also returning axons that come down from all areas of the cortex back to the intralaminar nucleus. The thalamus and the cortex are thus connected in a planted field.

I could see roundheaded people with sticks digging for tough tubers incubating beneath. I could taste the warm sweet yams, digesting the tome of their yellow pulp.

Too soon the names of these streets have not remained strange to me. Too quickly toponymy exotic to me when I arrived rings familiar.

 

 

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