I used to characterize my bored and sad brain with a line from T. S. Eliot:
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season
Lately my brain metaphor has switched and I see all the randomness (or seeming randomness) as flotsam and jetsam. Is the brain a sea? Or maybe all our brains together are one big sea, a little bit like Jung’s collective unconscious, but wetter.
So the mind drifts here or there, and when I meditate I see how it goes from thing to thing to thing, but winds up so often at the same place: there is something wrong with me, or I did something wrong, or my feelings are wrong. I should be happier, sadder, more at ease, less judgmental. The list goes on. When I’m not busy castigating myself or trying to make myself get up and clean the house, I notice how certain ideas and things tend to show up again and again. These are the things my mind is stuck on. Here’s a partial list, in no particular order:
- minimalism (dress, decor)
- colors, rainbows
- shiny, sparkly stuff (like jewelry)
- a sense of the possible
- wide open spaces/skies
- owls and other birds
- song lyrics and music
- magic and mystery
Do we choose what obsesses us? I don’t know. I do know it feels strange to make this list and share it on the internet. It’s like allowing somebody to see into my brain.
I also know that my current writing project (I won’t say “novel” because that seems overly optimistic) has at least seven of these items playing important roles. That’s by design. If we don’t write about what obsesses us, then who will? All the shiny chocolate cats* will pass through our brains, unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
*No cats, shiny, chocolate, or otherwise, were harmed in the making of this blog post.
I took this photo of Lily with my phone.