Do you ever think that sometimes, there is just too much stuff? I don’t mean the sort of things we buy and never use, or those useless items tucked away for decades, in case you might need them. I am talking about all the stuff that goes on inside our heads.
If I ever analysed all the different things going on in my mind at any given time, I am sure it would be impossible to even begin to write it all down, or attempt to sort it into some kind of sense. I love those days when I wake up with just one thing on my mind, or an old song playing in my head. Those are the days when the stuff gets shelved for a while, and has to wait patiently for my brain to release the torrent of thoughts and ideas backing up.
Much of this stuff is simple. The freezer is’t working properly, and there is a problem with the electrics in the outside buildings. If that was all there was to deal with, it would soon get sorted. But no sooner do I start to think about calling in an electrician, then for some reason I am recalling a conversation I had at school, when I was fifteen years old. Then I can see the faces of my grandmothers, and have no idea why. In the middle of all that, I suddenly think about having to get ready to take Ollie out, until all that stuff is swirling around in my brain like the contents of a washing machine on fast spin.
Later, I can clearly hear the voice of someone I used to work with, but try as I might I cannot recall her name. That is soon pushed aside by concerns about compiling a shopping list for the supermarket trip later today, which in turn is displaced by a few lines of a poem I read twenty years ago, overlaid on a scene from a film that keeps playing over and over in my head. Meanwhile, I am also thinking about a news report from the Lebanon, in the late 1970s, and a painting I saw at an exhibition in London, around 2002. Try as I might, I cannot stop all this stuff, and there are times when I wonder if this is a sign of some madness, or the onset of an age-related condition.
Sometimes, I wish I had an off-switch, so I could just turn off everything dating before today, and enable me to get on with what needs to be done. I could save all the other stuff for a specific time, and switch it back on when I was ready to experience it all. Even as I type this, I can see myself in school uniform, September 1963, about to start ‘big school’.
When will it ever end?
(Don’t worry, I think I know the answer to that question…)