Sea squirt, Wikimedia Commons.

The sea squirt. It has a brain until it hasn’t:

… a young sea squirt navigates the great oceans until it finds a rock that is secure, located in water that is just the right temperature, and surrounded by food. Having found a home, it settles down. Sea squirts are in fact sessile animals; once they take up residence, they never move again, come what may. The first thing a sea squirt does after setting up home is to eat its own brain. And why not? It’s possible to live and be a sea squirt without one.

— Giulia Enders in Gut (Scribe Publications, 2015).

Maybe I shouldn’t overthink it. I have a brain so I have to walk …

Update 13/10/2020 — I recently picked up In Praise of Walking by Shane O’Mara on an unplanned visit to a book store. He mentions the sea squirt as well:

Eventually, as it grows, the squirt transitions to a fixed stage, sticking itself to a convenient rock. There it consumes its own semi-brain, spinal cord and eye, none of which it now needs. (…) The larger lesson is clear: brains have evolved for movement.

O’Mara also mentions that the reverse pattern exists in certain jellyfish. They start out as polyps attached to rocks but then ‘start to develop a nerve net that allows them to engage in patterned movements, to attack prey and to ingest food.’ Couch potatoes can aspire to be more like jellyfish …

An easy way to start drawing (again) …

Exercise one: keep your eyes closed

Close your eyes and take a couple of breaths. With your eyes closed, start looking for colours and shapes.

Next, try to visualise what you saw before you closed your eyes by imagining contours of objects, shadows and highlights.

Exercise two: keep your eyes open

Do the same with your eyes open. Look around. Compare contours, shapes and colours. Notice parallel lines and gradients.

Exercise three: trace in the air

Keep both eyes open and look around. Use a finger to trace contours in the air. Use your thumb and index finger to compare dimensions. Take it easy, don’t squint.

Exercise four: draw on surfaces

Use your finger to draw what you see on different surfaces. Feel the difference between materials but keep looking at the subject.

Don’t forget to stop when you get bored!

Vroeger kon je Microsoft ScanDisk gebruiken om de harde schijf van je computer te defragmenteren. Op het scherm kon je dan zien hoe je computer cluster per cluster opgeruimd en gerepareerd werd. De bedoeling was om door de reorganisatie van data de computer efficiënter te laten werken. Ik liet het programma soms lopen hoewel het niet echt nodig was. Het voelde alsof ik mee gerepareerd en opgeruimd werd.

Microsoft ScanDisk aan het werk. (Het eerste stuk is eigenlijk fragmentatie.)