POEM: The Brain’s Label-Maker

My brain has a label-maker that pumps out bifurcated tags for everything it experiences:

good… bad…

pleasurable…  painful…

in-group… out-group…

familiar…  strange…

It pastes these labels all over my world, a world once painted in feeling. But once a label is applied:

-I think I know the labeled thing.

-I can’t really see the labeled thing.

-And, I can no longer be awed by the labeled thing.

As it happens, my brain also contains an inner mischievous boy with a penchant for picking at the corners of those labels. And whenever one comes loose, he looks around the joint, and — if the coast is clear — he rips away the label and runs. Running not to escape punishment, but to find the optimal distance for that thing’s radiated splendor.

And sometimes when that boy sees another staring intently into the distance as if hoping to see magic or a fireworks display, the boy wonders why that one doesn’t watch the magic near at hand. But they can’t see it. It’s invisible to them. And instead they suffer blank hope, drowning amid a sea of bliss.

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