Experiment with new beliefs. Try on an idea to see how it wears. Go around believing in magic. Just try to pretend, and see if you can convince yourself. No one has to know that for a minute, you believed you could pull a rabbit from a hat. Some beliefs grow impractical quickly. Some beliefs feel bad. Some are kinda fun. No one’s judging. Let your mind wander. See what happens.
Think your most dangerous thoughts.
You don’t even have to believe them, just think them.
Go to those parts of yourself that you’ve cordoned off with police tape and barricades.
What is it that’s so risky you can’t even let yourself think it?
Who benefits from your self censorship?
Reclaim your brain.
It’s funny how no one misses you on the internet. It’s a weird thing to admit, but if a tree falls and you’re not on Twitter, no one cares if it makes a sound. Granted no one cares about most of the digital content we consume on a daily basis. We all kinda go numb to it on some level, don’t you think? We binge on bad news, celebrity gossip and the salacious details of other people’s private lives. We consume media in much the same way that I used to eat sugar as a child — by the spoonful and straight out of the bag. Social media is intellectual Pixy Stix, and what I’m looking for is like … Avocados. Let’s stretch this metaphor beyond its reasonable limit and say I would like to experience and create the intellectual equivalent of the farmers’ market online. I would like to live in a world where digital content is not just soundbites whizzing through space at the speed of your next nervous breakdown. I know our society is geared toward doing things quickly all the time. It was hard to just slow down today, and after I relaxed most of the day, I felt like the most abominable slacker. But I just don’t think most of us are capable of fully processing information and experiences at the rate we feel compelled to take them in, which is interesting. I guess that’s how evolution works — we are always reaching for something just beyond our reach.
I have been writing in the car lately. This is probably a bad thing, but it’s safer than texting while driving. I don’t need to look at the letters, and I can keep one hand on the wheel. With my notebook in my lap, I scrawl away messily to translate later. This is a skill I began to develop in high school when I first learned to drive and encountered the odd phenomenon of highway ideas.
Highway ideas are simply those ideas that come while you’re on the road, driving 70 mph, and for just a moment, out of the reach of your boss who waits for you on one end of your commute and the endless housework that lurks on the other. Highway ideas seem connected to flow and movement. They like momentum, and the moment you stop moving long enough to write them down, they go away. Highway ideas exist in a part of your brain that is accessible only when your body is in rapid transit. Highway ideas are also known as airplane ideas and train ideas.
Your physical body is passive, yet moving. While your muscles are relaxed and each bone is stationary in relation to the other bones, the body moves forward in terms of geography. The ethereal matter of the mind, being unbound by flesh, doesn’t hang on when the body, bones, and brain are propelled forward. The ethereal matter mostly consists of anxiety, but also contains echos of faint yet taunting memories and a to-do list. The forward propulsion acts as a decanting method for the brain, and what is left is only the brain itself, and its most substantial thoughts which. These thoughts are not yet tangible objects, but they are to literature what mud between the toes is to solid ground. Who can appreciate solid ground without knowing mud between the toes?
*An alternative title to tonight’s post would be “Tuesday Night Nonfiction: Because Sometimes Mondays Don’t Work Out.”