Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Woolgathering


In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .
Recognizing the shy child within me.

Musical Moment
~ “Heartbreak Station” Cinderella

Woolgathering (as defined on Dictionary.com): indulgence in idle fancies and in daydreaming; absentmindedness.

A few months ago I learned something from my husband that shocked me. Ready?

Not everyone creates stories in their heads.

I had no idea. I thought everyone had running stories, scenarios or fantasies that took them through traffic jams, the grocery story and, yes I’ll say it, science and math classes. My husband has a very thorough, analytical mind. He thinks about baseball stats and the history of the game. He ponders the big bang theory (not the TV show, although it is fabulous) and how to take a beautiful picture in tricky light. He has never wondered about the daily life of Lou Gehrig after he left the baseball field or how he lived each day until he lost the battle with his disease: was he brave, did he live with regrets or was each day filled with joy, love and whatever adventures he could ring out of his final days? (I admit I did this especially after watching The Pride of the Yankees with Gary Cooper.) My husband does not create the story of how a wild rose grew in the middle of an overrun weed infested field. (Really, how can you not wonder about this???) My husband’s mind deals with the facts and mine deals with the possibilities.

Well, I was simply dumbfounded, especially when he told me he wasn’t the only one whose mind works that way and that not everyone thinks in story. Maybe it was na├»ve of me to think everyone thought like I did, but I never thought to ask anyone else if they had storyboards in their heads. I guess that would explain why I seem to drift off in daydreams so often and others plow through life in constant actions. It must be the reason I have a notebook and files filled with story ideas just waiting for me to sit down and let them play out across the page.

While this revelation was startling to me, what I discovered most is that I am very happy to be in the daydreaming, story creating camp. My mental life is rich, colorful and full of fun (it’s also ever so slightly twisted which explains my love for the Saw movies and suspense novels). My mind creates stories for children and helps me as an adult look for ways to bring play into my busy life (and yes, I do consider walking on hot coals playing even if though some people - the husband, ahem - think I should be committed for doing this).
The whimsies of my mind introduces me to characters – kids and adults - I wish I were more like or wish to never meet in real life. My meanderings create situations I have never experienced like having a housekeeper, having a talking pet or the ability to shape-shift, being a spy or a paranoid serial killer. The creativity of my mind enables me to choose a strange path of writing fiction for adults and children.

I guess baseball stats and the big bang theories have their own stories tied to them, but heaven help me, I don’t see it and have no interest in figuring out what it is. I’ll assume it’s the same for my husband who would probably run out of my brain a screaming, shaking heap of man if he spent an hour wandering around in my head.

What about you? Do you have stories running rampant in your head, are you a “real is real” thinker or do you think I’m off my rocker?


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