There are words and sentences and stuff, but that’s about it. It’s hard to fill anything with great meaning when you’re placidly walking around with a blankity-blank mind.
Let me set the scene: it’s 4:23 p.m. I am sitting in my bedroom office (i.e., at an L-shaped desk that I hacked together with a real desk from Target and a long hand-me-down dresser from the 1970’s).
I’m facing the bed. I see an unmade mess of sheets, quilts, and pillows. I should probably make the bed, shouldn’t I? Or, well, maybe not — after all, I’m only going to un-make again five hours from now.
There’s a window to the left of the bed. From my vantage point, I see an overcast sky that makes me strangely comfortable. Overcast days give me permission to do whatever I’d like — work, read, putz around, cook — without dealing with the manic “OMG get outside and enjoy the sunlight while it’s here!” message that the sun tends to broadcast.
A cloudy sky releases the pressure to savor the season. It’s a neutral force that I’ve come to know and love ever since developing panic disorder. In my pre-panic days, I was a high sensation-seeking gal who never passed up an opportunity to spend a day in the sunlight, ride an upside-down roller coaster, or jump off a 20-foot cliff into a river.
I’m not a high sensation-seeker any longer. Adrenaline is not my friend. I don’t search for it. And when it finds me accidentally, I usually tell it to shut up.
Okay, back to the bedroom. Here I sit. Bed in front, window to the left. Glass of water on my desk along with a stapler, some dress clothes I ought to hang up in my closet, and a Christmas Cactus that never blooms.
Am I boring you yet? Probably. I mean, I’m boring myself a bit with these descriptions of my bedroom layout. Today, I feel like the guy (who was it?) who said that everything that can be invented has already been invented. I feel like, in this large and vacuous internet, more information exists than is practical. What can I contribute today? Certainly nothing new.
Maybe it’s the overcast sky. Maybe it’s because I keep staring at the bed and debating: should I make it? It’s a waste of effort, in a way, but yet I love the feeling of climbing into a crispy-tucked bed sheet.
I’ve been largely free of anxiety for the past few weeks despite some hugely awesome challenges: teaching college students in a live classroom, advising undergraduate newspaper reporters, and undergoing three separate rounds of Root Canal Fun.
When I’m free of anxiety, it seems, my brain is free of creativity as well. When I am calm, my mind is blank. And it’s that very blankness that’s bringing you today’s unusual ramble of a blog post.
Now, for the important question: does the state of being calm induce a blank mind, or is the other way around? Does a blank mind calm me down?
I don’t know the answer. For once, I’m not going to try and analyze it to pieces. I’m just going to sit quietly and enjoy this strangely calm and thoughtless state.
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Last reviewed: 6 Sep 2012