My brother’s wife immediately agreed, and stated that people with brain injuries benefited from this kind of activity because it stimulated the development of new brain connections. Translating would help my brain restore his plenty of diversified neural pathways, and thereby give it the ability to reroute signals through different connections. That way, my brain would recover its lost mental functions – thinking, understanding complex information, and retaining facts in its memory. Exposing my brain to different stimuli (in this case, searching for the most accurate meaning of a word and for either the English translation or the English version of the original source of a quote) would result in the establishment of new connections.
Right after, she gave a great analogy of the success of this kind of activity: if people always walked in the same direction on the grass in the park, they would gradually erode the grass, and thus generate a single path. But if they took different directions, different paths would take shape.
As my sister-in-law was speaking, I imagined people walking leisurely in groups, chatting. They were walking on a lawn that was surrounded by trees. And they were walking endlessly. After hearing her, our mutual friend’s book acquired a new kind of appeal to me. I decided I would resume translating it as soon as I could. And as I tell the story, I see people walking in groups on the lawn.