I’m going to tell you a little story. It happened over four decades ago, but it is a first hand story, it happened to me.
The racing ADHD mind is often wandering. And anything can trigger a new and random thought train.
My mind was constantly involved in the riddles of physics because the physical world distracted me perpetually.
Riddles like …
I remember my father looking at me like I had a screw loose in my head (not too far off, eh?) when I asked him questions like, “How close can I get my finger to something before I’m actually touching it?”
I actually wanted a definitive answer or at least a reason for why we didn’t know the answer to that question. I was four, I think, and I couldn’t make him understand what I was asking him.
Not just him
When I was in my middle teens, I asked my best friend at the time if he ever wondered what was beyond the universe. He gave me a funny look, couldn’t really understand what I was asking.
I said, “Okay, look. We’re in this little village, in Grey County, in the Province of Ontario, right? And Ontario is in Canada, and Canada is in North America, and that continent is part of the world. Our world is part of the solar system which is in our galaxy. Our galaxy is a part of the universe. … where is the universe?”
He told me the universe was the universe and it was everything so there was nothing beyond that.
I almost said, “So it’s the same as if we sailed off the edge of the earth?”
But back to taking flight
When I was nine or ten, for some inexplicable reason I got wondering about a certain situation. I wondered what would happen if I were standing on something that suddenly fell. I reasoned that when it hit the ground, I would hit the ground through it with the same force.
But then I wondered what would happen if I were to jump straight up from that thing just before it hit the ground? Would it be the equivalent (or closer to it) of having just jumped up and down at a height closer to the ground?
Ponderable thought, eh?
I wondered about this off and on for a couple of years, off because I have ADHD and I wondered about a million other things every day as well.
I often considered setting up an experiment, but reasoned out that if it didn’t work, that wouldn’t be the best outcome and would cut short my career as an aspiring wonderer.
You know it’s coming, right?
When I was twelve, my family bought an old log cabin and proceeded to disassemble it to move it to our property. The first thing that had to go was the cedar shingles off the roof.
Now this roof, over the years, had developed a leak, and the repair that was affected was the securing of an old wooden door over the hole by means of a length of twine tied to a nail in a log on the far side of the cabin. I was standing on that old door when the answer to question of the twines tensile strength was determined.
Oh yeah, the twine broke. And I was riding that door down the roof like a surfer on a wave. I had about four seconds to make my peace with the world.
What did I do? Well, I thought a whole lot of things, so, basically I did what I always do.
And what happened?
Oh, dear, look at that, I’ve run out of space here.
But I’d be happy to finish this story tomorrow. And as much as you all hate cliff hangers, if you’re at all like me, I can at least put your mind at ease in one respect … I didn’t die.
Okay? So, stay tuned for the conclusion to this little tale tomorrow. Ciao.