Woman in deep inward sensory exploration.
"Someone asked: "Would you please speak about the vagus nerve?" Here you go! The vagus nerve is one creeping branch of ivy rooted to the nerve tree. It's tendrils extend all the way from the cranium through a wee little foramen to the gut after snaking alongside the carotid artery alone the cervical spine and then under the roots of the lungs (and over the heart on the left) after which it winds along the esophagus and on through the esophageal hiatus into abdominal space. It travels where it does, not to control, but to listen, notice, and accompany the myriad happenings along the way. The vagus nerve is but one thread of a great tapestry, the meaning of which can only be gleaned by studying all the panels of the story. I am of a mind to believe that any and every structure carved from the body and named represents not a reality of the form, but an idea of the artist, and a high level of abstraction. So if you ever do run into a vagus nerve, resist the temptation to tell it what it is and what it does. Perhaps it has its own story to offer us if we'll pause to listen, kind of like putting your ear up to a seashell..."
-Gil Hedley, Integral Anatomy