An Unquiet Mind

There are situations when your body must be present but your mind is unnecessary; waiting in line, keeping an eye on a person or an item, traffic jams and red lights.  The task can be accomplished without active thought, freeing the brain to wander as it will.  I do not know what goes on in others’ minds at these times.  Perhaps this is a quiet moment, a still space free of thought, a pause for rest.  There is no way to know what goes on in another’s head; in this, we are truly isolated in our own world.

Moments like these are not a chance for rest for my mind; I can’t remember the last time my brain was quiet.  I even have trouble calming my thoughts when trying to fall asleep.  Meditation is challenging for me – I can force stillness only while focusing on stillness, and even then ideas and mental commentary intrude.

I have already mentioned that I write in my head.  This has become a form of relaxation for me, a chance to direct my thoughts rather than always being a slave to them.  In emotional moments, when I am working myself into a frenzy of anger or a pit of despair, it is hopeless to attempt a book diversion.  If, however, I am using one of those mindless task moments to stew (or my brain is keeping me from sleeping), forming fiction provides a pleasant alternative to whatever my brain has chosen for a focus.

Thus is the burden of an unquiet mind can be transformed into an opportunity for creativity.

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