Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.

iuI seem to begin writing a new post every other day. An idea – something I want to share, a discovery, something I want to bitch about, some profound revelation – comes into my head, and begins to write itself. I marvel at the human brain’s capacity to remember words, to string them together in comprehensible sentences, and eventually to express ideas. The fact that other human brains can translate those strings of letters into concepts and ideas is further remarkable.

What happens all to often – as it just did with this post – is that I get part way into what I want to say, and my train of thought goes off the rails. Or gets shunted onto a different track and I have no idea where it is going. And sometimes no real idea of where it came from. I glance up and look out the window, and get stuck there for 15 minutes.

I have a list on my desk of topics and ideas to write about, a list that grows every day. There is a growing collection of drafts, a paragraph or two in length, on my hard drive, essays and commentary that I started off on going great guns. In every case, I have paused during the writing to read over what I’ve written, only to find that the destination I was aiming for seemed to slip further away the more I wrote. It’s all in my head; it gets lost in the translation into words.

Thankfully, I still seem to be able to write fiction. I’ve been doing writing practice, writing for a set amount of time every day , with no concern for the result, for many years. The idea is practice, the way one practices any skill – the more you do it, the better you  get at it. So it is good to find that I can still write completely invented stories, stories and scenes that can flow in any direction they want. They don’t have to make sense even to me. I don’t feel the need, in most cases, to go back and edit or even re-read.

But here I am, wandering again. I occasionally post short fiction to another blog, Two Buddhas in Conversation, but not often. Of all the things MS has taken from me, I miss my mind the most.


Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

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