Episode 6: Should I use my second eyeball?

Should I use my second eyeball?

When I first thought about doing a series of audio essays centered around gently nagging questions, this was one of the first questions I wrote down: Should I use my second eyeball?

It wasn’t just about me wondering if I should try – as my brother Chris has long suggested – to get my brain to recognize the information coming from my left eye. This question has always been for me one that hides a bigger question: What are we not doing with the bodies we have left in the time we have left?

Our guests are the artist Chris Dreger (my big brother), my neurologist friend Megan Shanks, and Anthony Paganini, a physiologist who thinks a lot about how the body works as a feedback system, looping ontologically and phylogenetically.

We ponder Matisse’s The Red Studio, pseudoseizures (which resemble epileptic seizures but can be caused by psychological issues), the persistence of body hair, and what my father planned to do in heaven.

As so often in these essays, the main question leads us to a lot of other questions. Why has evolution maintained an organ in our body that has such a high chance of accidentally killing us? If there’s some memory your brain is trying to hide, is it wisest to just keep it hidden? And what does it mean when a painting looks more like a person you know than any photograph does?

Our verbal collaborative wanderings are threaded together with keyboard and horn improvisation by Mike in ways that make me strongly recommend you listen to this episode in stereo. It’s great stuff. But that’s assuming both your ears work.

Alice Dreger, creator and host
Michael Teager, producer and musician