Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Empty Brain

I have, on rare occasion, had the benefit of an empty brain.  Where due to life circumstances or conscious decision I had removed some of the regular inputs into my life.  The last few days I have been thinking of this more regularly and realized that again I need to empty my brain.  A great interview with Trevor Talbert by Brian Levine's Pipes Magazine Radio Show really set me on this train of thought.  He was talking about his various artistic endeavours and that for him to be best able to create something he needed to fill his brain less with the things that others have created.  Empty Brain.  While I am writing about Empty Brain I got pretty distracted but I did stumble across this article from Trevor Talbert which fits in with many of my blogs quite well.

When I read that it struck a terrifying cord in me.  I stumbled across something similar just before going to the Himalyas and so decided to not bring the kindle or any music but to simply take in my surroundings and write if I could.  Unfortunately the hiking kicked my butt and very little writing was written.  I did fill 44 pages of a moleskin with various musings but mostly it is a chronicle of the trip, incomplete and not nearly as introspective as imagined.  And so I returned home thinking the newly awoken commitment to write due to the Morning Pages Experiment and the fresh beauty of the mountains would combine to create post after post of humbling beauty and biting prose.

Then the thing that I was afraid of happened.  My Empty Brain began to fill itself.  At first this was wonderful, I was imaginative and creative again.  I could day dream like I did when I was younger.  My mind was a fertile place once again.  Life and stress and a few major family decisions came up and, like the Tar from Fern Gully, began to infiltrate and pollute the inner recesses of my grey matter.  I began to very quickly lean very heavily on YouTube as my drug of choice to chase away the voices in my mind.  I know that there are probably those brave souls in our wonderful world who are not haunted by self loathing, depression, and suicidal tendencies.  Unfortunately I am not one of those brave souls.  I can understand a life without darkness as little as they can understand a life punctuated by it.  And so my Empty Brain became a weapon against myself and so I filled it.  Motorcycle repair, BBC's Farm series of videos, the Tested Channel with Adam Savage building super cool stuff.  All of these things filled my mind so that I was not free to fill it.

And then the last few weeks I have worked myself close to health again.  I didn't run during this period so the Marathon is no longer an obtainable goal.  I didn't write for weeks and lost the progress I had made towards building a writing habit.  I had again left scars of uncertainty in my precious children.  But I will not focus on what was lost.  So I began starting to write again.  And this week is a week free of YouTube to allow my brain space to think and to give me time to get my spiritual house in order.  So again I enter into the unknown, that place where I let my brain lead me down terrifyingly wonderful paths.  H.P. Lovecraft terrifies me that much more as I recognize the wanderlust of his characters down the paths of the mind.  To allow the mind to stretch and grow until it breaks.  Maybe some people are not afraid that there senses will snap and they will loose their mind.  Maybe I've read too many Victorian novels.  But down the rabbit hole we go, once more my friends.  I still doubt the great American Novel will begin to appear on these pages but at least something will.

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