Monday, May 18

REFLECTIONS OF A CLUTTERED MIND

Duane Flaherty
My apologies! What you are about to read is old, but I've run out of time today. I hope you don' t mind reading it again. And comment--please! I hope you have a great week, and I'll be back Monday with something...er...newer. The picture's my husband, just for you to look at. He's such a nice guy. Thanks for your patience. - Liz

I’m not a very attentive person. Well, I’m attentive, just not when and where I should be. I’ve said before that if I were in school now, I’d probably be diagnosed with some kind of horrifying but hopefully treatable acronym. As it is, I’m unfocused to the extreme. I would blame it on age, but that’s become such a huge umbrella that I’m reluctant to push anything else under it. So I will have to think of something…

Green is muscling its way into the grass in the lawn outside my office window. It is a Yes! moment. Birds are picking their way through. We saw a fat robin in the field yesterday. I wish he’d come into the yard as I watch—it would make the picture perfect.

Oh, yes. I don’t really know what to blame it on, or if I’ve always been this way. I got pretty good grades when I was a kid, but I don’t remember paying that much attention in the process.

You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up…

I have tried to improve my concentration. It would make writing much easier if I did. I sometimes wonder how I’ve ever completed a book when I rarely type more than a paragraph without…

Que sera, sera, what will be, will be. The future’s…Farmers of America. They had cool corduroy jackets…why don’t I just stick with a nine-patch instead of trying to go all Mary Fons?

Without what? Oh, without my mind going off into a dozen different directions. To make it all more complicated, I’m a pantser, not a plotter. While my people come pretty much named and fully formed, the story itself…

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…

…just kind of evolves, but I’m really not sure how it happens. Many times a scene will start to map itself out as I’m falling asleep. I used to keep a pen and paper beside the bed, but there were several truths involved with that. (1) I was usually too sleepy to write the ideas down, (2) if I was awake enough, the pen was out of ink, or (3) I’d dropped the pad of paper and it was somewhere under the bed, and (4) if I got under the bed for anything, I had to go get the vacuum cleaner, because there was no possible way I could go back to sleep over that much dust.

Flowers are for the living, Mom always said, so this week I remembered to send flowers to my mother-in-law. Because she’s been ill. Because I love her. Because I wish my mom was here to send them to as well.

Good Lord, what Mom would say if she saw the dust under that bed! And what was that scene all about? I know it would be a good one if I could just remember it.

Occasionally thoughts will circle around to where they are together and almost harmonious. More often they clang…

…clang, clang went the trolley…

…more like a cacophony in my head.

And I have decided this is all right. In truth, I’d like to have an orderly mind (and an orderly under-the-bed, too, but we’re not going there), but I just don’t think it’s going to happen at this point. I remember cleaning out something one time, though I don’t remember what it was—surprise!—and in the mess I was cleaning, someone had spilled a box of those little sticky-back stars teachers and parents used to give as rewards.

Oohhh, shiny.

I didn’t think of it then—or maybe I did—but that’s the way life and the unfocused mind are. There’s a lot of clutter in both, a startling lack of direction, too much discordant noise, handwriting both across and up and down the page the way they wrote letters in days gone by.

And bright stars, and joyous walks, and music, and stories I love. It’s not so bad…

Starry, starry night…he cut off his ear, for heaven’s sake…tulips are up…when the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along…

There he is. There’s the robin. He left too fast for me to get the picture, but it was perfect. See? Harmony.

17 comments:

  1. You are brave! I can't get the danged thoughts to hold still long enough to put them on paper. I don't mean writing a story...just writing your blog post. But I relate to the pants er approach. Seems to work. Eventually. Make it a great day.

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    1. It's been a fun one today! Thanks, Judith!

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  2. I love this. Every single bit of it. :D

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  3. I echo what Kristina said. The mind isn't always controllable. It does what ti wants even when we give it a specific instruction,it may do what t wants.

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    1. Absolutely does, doesn't it? Adds to the adventure!

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  4. You're not cluttered and scattered, you're a multi-tasker! Aren't we all? LOL Really fun post.

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    1. Oh, I love that, Jannine! Thank you!

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  6. I've got people pulling at me from so many directions I feel like they have more control over my mind and body than I do. I thought it would be different once the kids were grown. I hadn't considered the parents. There's nothing I wouldn't give for a few quiet minutes alone. Whine over, back to work.

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    1. Oh, hope you get your time, Sandy. It's so hard sometimes.

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  7. I really identified with your post! Thank goodness Janinne pointed out that's merely multi-tasking :) Oh, and I had to remove my earlier comment, because I transposed too many words :(

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    1. LOL. Been there, done that. I loved what Jannine said.

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  8. You made me laugh this morning! I love your thought processes because they remind me of mine. Hopefully it is multi-tasking although I have found that many of my friends are on medication for adult onset ADD! I just tell myself "Focus and keep writing!" Not sure if it is working.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn. Just keep having a good time. :-)

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  9. I can totally relate to this and sometimes I really wish I couldn't. Concentrating can wear me out sometimes. I guess it isn't going to change. When I was school age, my brother would say, "Earth to Cathy. Earth to Cathy." As a toddler, when one of my kids said intensely, "I need to focus," it had a strangely familiar ring to it! :)

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    1. That's just something brothers do, isn't it? Thanks for coming by, Cathy.

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