Friday, February 16, 2007

The B Movie in My Mind

"Really, now you ask me," said Alice, very much confused, "I don't think--"
"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.

-from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

But what if you think too much? Should you talk more? What if talking isn't an option at the moment?

Moments like this creep up on me unawares, much like the fog in Carl Sandurg's poem:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

On the surface, nothing seems out of the ordinary: the little ones are safe and snug in bed, the cursor is blinking on the screen, the smoke is curling lazily from the tip of my cigarette to merge sinuously with the ghostly one rising from my coffee, the drapes in front of me flutter once in a while at the odd gust of wind. There is no clock in this room, so I can't really tell if time has stood still--for at the moment, it sure seems as if it has.

Everything is quiet, peaceful, serene. But the room that is my mind is far from tranquil at the moment. Thoughts are chasing each other here and there; one thought is only halfway to being born before being supplanted by another. It's kind of like the pain of childbirth: one cramp has hardly ebbed before a bigger and more powerful one roars in and takes over and nothing else exists--it doesn't allow any room for any coherent thought. The kaleidoscope of pain bears down on all your senses, shattering your world--in that moment, it is your whole world.

It's like a movie projector possessed by the devil himself is spewing random thoughts, random images in my mind. But are they really random? Or are they all connected somehow? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something? Then why the hell doesn't it just say it outright? Why subject me to thoughts like: watching a sunrise one chilly morning; the sweetness of a fresh tomato; lines from Neruda's If You Forget Me, from Shakespeare's Sonnet XXIX, from Ogden Nash's More About People; the jangling of keys; footprints in the sand, an overripe banana. My fingers can hardly keep up with the images running through my mind--I give up.

I close my eyes. I try to imagine something peaceful: something green, or something blue. I succeed, stillness is achieved for several nanoseconds--before those greens and blues lead to other thoughts--images--of the most tumultuous greens and the most tantalizing blues. I give up yet again. I am such a pathetic dumbass.

Would that there was a switch to shut them all up--these voices and thoughts doing the most splendiferous Mardi Gras in my mind, without a care as to who they might be bothering--or at least slow them down.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

I am a hollow reed...

Nope, that isn't working for me now.

Perhaps, like Sandburg's fog, these thoughts will move on. Or maybe a thought will come, one that is so strong, so forceful that it will overpower all these inconsequential (?) gremlins that are wreaking havoc on my mind and sanity. Perhaps.

I'm going to try get some work done now. Doesn't mean I'll succeed, but I'll certainly try.


CSL said...

I love that Sandburg poem. Hope the breathing brings some peace of mind. I'll try that, too.

Debo Blue said...

I'm totally feeling this post-thoughts going everywhere and nowhere. Rather than a fog, my thoughts are like merging traffic during construction.

At least you can interject poetic statements and quotes. I'm down to nothing coherent.


houseband00 said...

Hang in there, Liz. =)

Tulog lang yan. =)

Though, I do know what you mean by time standing still when the thoughts run amuck.

Turnbaby said...

Well sugar I must say that you are the most eloquent frustrated writer I know.

Kyels said...

I hope you'll get some peace of mind.



Bond said...

Ah the thoughts that keep invading our minds... moving in and out like the tides...
I also "battle" these thoughts... though I am not sure it is a battle I would want to do without.

Lizza said...

CSL: It's such a great, short poem.

Debo Blue: Incoherence happens to me, too. Going everywhere and nowhere, oh yeah. :-) Cheers!

HB: I'm hanging in here. At nakatulog naman. Takaw tulog nga ako nowadays eh. :-)

Turnbaby: Thanks. But what I was feeling when I wrote this post could have been said in three words: I feel like shit. Haha!

Kyels: Thanks! A hug for you, too. :-)

Bond: The battles can be invigorating at times, just plain tiring at others. :-)

H said...

I had to attend to a script while reading your post, and for a moment I felt that if I tore my eyes away from the page... I would destroy the moment that you've built so perfectly... inexplicably fragile and vivid.

Woman [who I can see blogging] you're farther away from dumbass than the north is from the south.

roses are red
violets blue
Neruda is beautiful.
So are you

[this last is a little token from RBoH for the back thumping - as is evident, RBoH well-intention though she is, lacks talent].

H said...


lizza said...

H: You know Neruda? I want to weep for gladness. Yeah, I'm a poetry whore. A big hug to you, too.

it's the little things... said...

We seem to be on similar wavebands today...

Natalie said...

I hate when my mind takes over and I can't focus. At the same time I am fascinated by where my thoughts are headed. It's a odd situation.

Scott from Oregon said...

Thinking thoughts is the number one dividing line between a person alive, and a person dead.

If you are thinkin glots of thoughts, you are lots of alive...

Don't fret being lots of alive.

Think of the alternative.

Lizza said...

little things: I hope your spirits are up. Have a good weekend.

Natalie: Exactly. Sometimes we have the most interesting conversations and interactions with our own selves. But it can also get tiring.

Scott: Hey, thanks. You're right. Sometimes I just fail to look at the glass as half-full.