Is it Genius or Drugs

 

So many times, many of us have been exposed to what is known as abstract art, leaving the interpretations to individual tastes.

We have watched the Beatles make history, a group from Liverpool, England, with little or no talent, that suddenly hit a nerve with the teenage generation of the 1960’s. This group later claimed to be greater than Jesus, drawing consternation from more balanced minds. We later found out, the Beatles had their minds altered with the use of marijuana and LSD. The so called genius, was tarnished with such revelations.

Substances, and their affects on the human brain, have always had an eager interest from within the medical community. We do know of asylums in almost every country throughout the world; the bipolar community has grown, and promulgated to the opioid community rising to epidemic status.

Medicine is diving deeper into the minds of the mentally different: the categories of genius, autistics, dementia and Alzheimer.

This four point brain wonderment, has reached the doorsteps of Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore Maryland, where Michael Hersch, a celebrated composer, wrote a piece for a string quartet, based on the etchings of Michael Mazur (Closed Ward). The piece has 13 movements, and an audience witnessed the performance, as the backdrop was a moving canvas of etchings. (See video).

Prior to the performance, a symposium discussed the complexity of the human brain, in particular mood disorders, and distinguished Professor, KAY REDFIELD JAMISON (Understanding Suicide), played a major role in removing the fear of the mentally ill among us.

So when we hear of these child prodigies in music, art or science, or someone who suddenly “flips the script”,  becomes famous overnight, it is not negative to ask, is it genius, or drugs?

Michael Hersch and friends

Composer Michael Hersch, Dr. Thomas Traill, husband to Dr. Redfield Jamison (r), professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins, Mood Disorders Center, Baltimore Md.