Food For Thought

Maybe the way to handle some neuroses is to channel them. I was thinking that this morning as I passed a woman wearing a gorgeous patterned skirt. I smiled at her and then my OCD brain kicked into gear and mentally tidied it. Same thing happens when I see stripes. I want to scoop them up and tie them together. But perhaps that excess stress and energy  could be used for good. Instead of alphabeticising soups, I could save the whales. Sort out the recession. Or at a pinch, help a friend sort out some boxes.

Our brains are amazing things. Yesterday I was reading an interview with the celebrated chef, Heston Blumenthal. (Sorry I threw out the article before checking my source, but I think it’s from this weekend’s Times).  Blumenthal is renowned for innovating and developing so-called molecular gastronomy – a scientific approach to mind-blowingly good cuisine. (He’s just written a book on how to recreate these at home – utilising the store-cupboard basics of mouldy mushrooms, lentils and liquid nitrogen). Blumenthal was recently diagnosed with ADHD – a developmental disorder which causes hyperactivity and loss of concentration. He connects the condition to his struggles with anger – uncontrollable fits of rage, whether in the kitchen or the car. As a chef, you might think that sadism comes as standard, but he’s found that the opposite is true.  My anger, he says, came from feeling out of control.  But the problem was with me.  When I recognised this, instead of getting angry with others, (e.g; because they burnt a souffle) I channelled my energy into finding solutions, (e.g; a temperature at which they could be guaranteed not to burn).

Not only has Blumenthal overcome some of the problems associated with ADHD, he even links the disorder with his success. One of its classic features for example, is an obsessive focus on a narrow field of interest. This intensity and drive has enabled him to rise to the top of his field. It’s also made his life – quite literally – more vivid. He sees letters as colours – ‘J’ for example, is a burnt orange. And to top it all off, he’s developed some amazing puddings…

6 thoughts on “Food For Thought

  1. Wow. It would almost seem as though his brain was designed by God and it was sin causing the problems!

  2. the colour thing is synasthesia. I have it to a degree, so not sure that is linked to the ADHD or actually perhaps it is – that might explain a few things for me personally!! fascinating subject though.
    They say God can use all thigns for good and heres a classic example, some might see his conditio (especially in kids) as a bad thing, but here he is channelling it into something creative. love it!

  3. Surrendering our “weaknesses” to be used for His glory so goes against the flesh doesn’t it? I know I swing between wanting to use my own strength to stamp out anything that looks abnormal or the opposite extreme of wanting to give in to whatever feels to be pulling me, no matter how destructive. Also, I find that my very worst vices are actually my own gifts running wild and unsubmitted to Christ. He has so many jobs to fill and needs all kinds of workers, and He really loves using ‘losers’! Giving all we are to God, and believing that he really is good. So simple to say,so hard to live out, and except for the grace of God, I don’t think we can!

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