Woman Plays Violin During Brain Surgery

I heard about a master violinist who discovered that she had a brain tumor. The doctors could perform surgery to remove it, but it would run the risk of permanent brain damage. Wading through her fears, the violinist agreed to brave the procedure, as long as the surgeons would avoid injuring the neurons associated with her violin playing. The only way to do it was to hook her up to an EEG and have her play violin during the operation, so the doctors could tell which neurons to avoid severing.

Isn't that just amazing? What a poetic image. Imagine her playing “On the Threshold of Winter '' while a scalpel cuts at the very heart of her identity. Playing the violin was a part of her life from childhood all the way up to seniority. Imagine the swell of feelings, raw in her mind and those of her doctors. Fear and hope are there, but you could also feel a cold, ever-still breeze of concentration colored by sparks of ingenuity. Picture the vulnerable iridescent thrift store-like shelves of memories conjoined with thorny blossoms of endless tomorrows. I'd wager even a flicker of ego, like Icarus catching a sunrise on waxcoved glass, could have been felt in the air of the operating room. I can think of no better ideal of what human beings can beat our peak than in this story, but you know that's just like my opinion, man.

Note: I don’t have the full story here, as I only heard this while I was helping some friends find Emily Dickinson’s gravestone. Don't worry, we found it, and I left a page of my journal marked with a kiss and some accidental spit as a real “in memoriam” gesture.

For more articles by Freak Funk Frank, click here. To get in touch with this writer, email fff@surrealtimes.net.


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