SIMPLY THE BEST TIME TO THINK? WHAT’S SIMPLE ABOUT IT?

When and where do you do your best thinking?

In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus?

Why do you think that is?

– – – – –

There’s a fine line between thinking, worrying, brooding and obsessing. Since I do all of these, I should ponder this a bit. Hmm.

When I lay in bed in the morning reviewing the various injustices of life, the friends who’ve fallen out of touch and whom I miss very much, adding in the bills I haven’t paid, generally contemplating my failures and shortcomings, then proceed to beat myself up — followed by a brief foray into self-pity? How do I define that? Is it worrying, brooding, thinking or obsessing? All of the above?

When I stare at a laptop that isn’t working and I can’t (apparently) fix … the one on which I’m planning to reinstall the OS while wondering if it will totally trash the machine? Is that thinking? Worrying? Obsessing? Does it matter?

Creative thinking, the stuff that produces something new, has no particular time. It can be the offshoot of a conversation with my husband or online. Frequently, something I read in a book turns on the light bulb in the brain. Often I discover what I want to write about on my site while commenting on someone else’s.

THINKING-BRAIN

I’m not sure my brain ever goes to sleep. I have weird dreams that can be difficult to shake even after I wake. And even though I don’t always remember the dreams, I wake up already fully engulfed in brooding, worry, obsession or thinking about something — apparently triggered by the dream I’ve forgotten.

What is the best thinking? I don’t know. Worrying and obsessing may not be the most healthy processes, but they can be surprisingly productive despite their bad reputation.

I guess this means I have no idea when or where my best thinking gets done. If I were to take a guess, I’d say it’s while I sleep.

I know when my best writing gets done. That’s easy. I have creative spurts in the morning after I pour my first cup of coffee and again after dinner, around eight or nine at night. I may get an idea anytime, but I’m most likely to put it down on virtual paper early in the day or when I’ve got my feet up at night.

So much for a simple answer to a straightforward question.

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WINTER BOUQUETS

When the world is rimed with ice and snow covers every surface … in a world turned to black, white and shades of gray, a trip to the grocery store flower department is a festival of color. It’s a bright reminder that as winter came, so it will pass into spring.

Eventually. After the mud. And the torrential rains, snow melt and flooding.

THE ASCENDANCY OF MUDGAARD – A BIT OF WEIRD FICTION

Once upon a time, according to the legends of the northeastern natives of the continent of North America, a great battle was joined between the region’s primary weather deities. Burning Orb — Lord of Brightness — and Mudgaard — Lord of Grey and Damp — joined battle in the fifth month of the strange year. The battle was fierce and in the end, Mudgaard was triumphant.

Upon gaining ascendancy, Mudgaard brought in clouds from the north, south, east and west. The skies opened and water poured forth.

Although the region frequently usually had prolonged spells of rainy weather, the precipitation had typically been intermittent, grey and drizzly. Rarely would rainfall be intense and prolonged. Rarer still, torrential. That year was different. Soaking rains were followed by heavy downpours. There was little wind, just endless rain.

storm coming

The ground became oozing mud. For many long weeks, Burning Orb was unable to bring his power of Shining Sun to bear on the water-logged earth.

By the end of the sixth month of the year, Burning Orb had made but a single brief appearance. Mold grew on every surface. Oak sills rotted. Fabric disintegrated. Hammocks decayed on their stands.

The birds ceased singing and went glumly about their business. Flowers budded, attempted – in a half-hearted way – to flower, then dropped their partly opened blossoms on the sodden earth.

Humans became dispirited, then whiny, and finally, outright cranky. Everything inside and outside was damp.

Although the proverbial cats and dogs did not fall from leaden skies, they might just as well have since the earthbound feline and canine population eventually fell into the same depressed state as their humans.

When the Day of Fireworks, known locally as Independence Day, dawned bright and clear, humans marveled at the sight.

“LOOK!” they cried, pounding each other on the back with joy and exuberance. “IT’S BURNING ORB! Mudgaard has been defeated.”

When a mere 3 days later the grey clouds and thunder came back and the rains began again, a glum grumpiness consumed the population. New Englanders, who’d thought themselves inured to abuse by weather gods, fell silent. There was nothing to say. The joke was on them.

“It is going to be a grim summer,” they mumbled and went about their joyless days, dreaming of long ago summers when they could complain about too much sun and heat. They did, however, leave themselves a free pass to begin complaining as soon as conditions allowed.

FROZEN MEMORIES

Snow was falling lightly though blizzard conditions had been predicted. It seemed that we would miss the main part of that particular storm, but there’s another on the way. The television meteorologists are visibly thrilled! They live for storms. Us? Not so much.

Memories of summer frozen on the deck -- bitterly cold.

Memories of summer frozen on the deck — bitterly cold.

And now, a song to remind us all of warmer climes.