Thursday, May 08, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tour Inside My Head

There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one's idea for thirty-five years; there's something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.”

Do I now - or have I ever - had anything worthwhile to communicate? Generously assuming I might have had something to communicate, could I ever have done so? That’s what I’ve been pondering now that my medications have been tuned up enough for me to ponder a while longer.

I have been planning the itinerary for a Grand Tour Slash Spring Cleaning of The Inside of My Skull. The trip might be as perilous as trying to climb an icy mountain as the globe warms and having avalanches of multi sequiters swallow me like the Ocean swallowed the Titanic.  And by the way, the Titanic might still be afloat if the globe had just warmed up a hundred years sooner.

What the hell am I talking about here? Exactly!

You’ve seen animated pictures of how your brain looks like a network of glowing blue fractally branching threads, connected by tiny pink sparks of thoughts. Not me. Inside of my skull there are a lot of quicksand swamps of digression that will distract me quicker than googling the lyrics to the Flogging Molly song The Worst Day Since Yesterday. (Which I just did. You’re welcome.) And the cobwebs and dust - my lord, doesn’t anybody dust or sweep the corridors and skim the hair algae out of the swamps?

My vocabulary - which once grew (because I am a reader) like the oxalis grew in my once-irrigated front yard, - has begun to wither. Not so much from lack of reading and appropriate irrigation, but because my brain can no longer absorb much nourishment from reading - just like my compacted dead soil can’t absorb much water like in the good old pre-drought days.

Before I settled on the metaphor of an unmapped path through a swamp, I was looking for a metaphor to communicate how things inside of my skull work and what needs to be done to clean things up. I was trying to remember the verb for that that thing you do after you delete a bunch of files from your hard drive. Is it reformatting?  Something that organizes stuff more efficiently on the hard drive and fills in all the blank spaces where deleted stuff was. To zoom in on my brain, I picture my brain’s hard drive as a badly scratched LP record, and the deleted stuff like that smooth spot on a record between songs – only wider and slightly warped from being stored at the wrong angle. And a with slightly sticky patch on the B side that might be fossilized Welch’s Grape Jam and that symbolizes unwise use of substances back when mid-century modern was cool the first time around.

Other times, I’d describe great rooms inside the house of my skull like my real house that is not merely suffering from neglect to the exterior. My brain needs to have more stuff cleaned out and hauled to the dump than The Hoarding Room does (keeping in mind that the hoarding room is bigger than inside my skull but that the relative contents are proportionally sized, but equally relatively overstuffed). And to clean out The Hoarding Room, the best idea I have is to open the door and windows, remove the window screens, and run a fire hose through the door until everything drips out the hole where the windows are. Sure, it would require yet another trip to the dump, but it might be worthwhile. Wait, deadly mold growing in the old wallpaper from water left behind by the high-pressure hose. Unfortunate metaphor.

Then what do you call the action that rearranges the icons on your desktop into some semblance of order instead of like the pile of stuff moved from my back patio into the yard so the painter could put off painting for another three or four days every three or four days for going on a month now? Run on sentence? Perhaps. Good metaphor? Perhaps not. Thought of genius, or rhetorical swing and a miss? Totally.

So anyway, back to the journey down the dusty corridors of my skull that, sadly, has neither glowing blue branches nor pink flashes of genius. I just hit the Great Wall of Responsibility that stands between inducing deep philosophical insights to emerge from my brain (like the termites emerging from this post when the contractor disturbed them by using an electric saw to cut it down) and the crap I have to stop putting off because I’m a grown up and not (yet) like my cray cray puppy pictured above

Instead, I’m stuck here lamenting how I should first dredge my neural swamp, or delete worthless stuff from the LP-shaped hard drive inside my skull, or perform a fire-hose lobotomy before attempting to communicate earnest nonsense.

What I really should be doing right now is taking the pictures off the camera and my smart phone (oxymoron alert!) and into putting them into the demonic iPhoto: a process I still have the mental acumen to metaphorize as trying to teach a peach to parallel park in a car with right-hand drive using a radio transmitting to/from the moon that involves an 11 minute delay between each transmission while trying to work out the moral of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot (read in Russian) and having a mani-pedi performed by an animal without opposable thumbs. 

Hmmm. Trying to organize my pictures from the hash iPhoto mixes them into might be a good metaphor for a brain in need of an upgrade. And also: sometime in the next thirty-five years, I could really use a mani-pedi…

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