I had one of the juiciest philosophical conversations of my life last night. With a guy who’s brilliant, rational, and has developed a personal philosophy that is almost entirely in contrast to my own. But I couldn’t argue with him, because is was logical and just, even if the foundations for it were totally divergent from my own. Good thing I chose not to argue with him, ’cause I got the sense we were both so opinionated and strong willed it would have been nothing less that a full intellectual throwdown (which I totally would have won <grin>).
Mostly it just gave me food for thought; in questioning his beliefs, it also prompted me to question my own: how does that work? what do I really believe? what about in this context? There’s something to be said for finding like minded people in your life: people who fit, people you get, people who can push you further down you own path. But today I’m realizing the value of hanging out with some un-like minded people as well. Brains that provide contrast, a different perspective, a broader view.
I’ve got a lot of un-like minded people in my world these days, people who share some kind of kindred something that draws me to them, but very different brains – a culture, a mode interpersonal interaction, a way of being, very different from my own. It’s a little bumpy hanging out with people you don’t just intuitively get; I’m often feeling like a dog that’s wandered away from it’s scent familiar territory; edgy, insecure, more alert to what’s going on around me – trying to read new signals, find my place. I’m uncomfortable, but more than that, I’m curious, willing to risk the uncertainty in order to have the exploration. But it’s a lot of new input, and I keep complaining about not having enough down-time, enough solitude, and today after having my brain so full last night I’m beginning to understand why I’m getting grumpy.
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I think we all undergo a process pretty much akin to the physical one of digestion. It isn’t enough to just take in, you need to digest and process that, and then express the results of that assimilation and re-configuration. I’m busy and inspired and have a lot of input right now and I think that’s getting heaped up, causing some kind of mental indigestion, bunging up my writing (especially the fiction) as I don’t have the space to break all these ideas down, and take all those bits and generate some transformed output (at which point I’m going to let go of the digestion metaphor, otherwise implying my writing output is simply crap).
Anyway, I’m full, mentally distended and in dire need of some room to digest.
I did a deliciously self indulgent thing the other day …discovered three days in a row on my calendar this month that had nothing written on them and drew a line through all three – MINE! Short of a nephew needing kidney, nothing, NOTHING is going to take me away from three whole days of time by myself. I’ll be entirely unavailable to the outside world in those three days, and I can hardly wait.
And just knowing I’ve got that time to myself, that aid to my overstuffed digestion, is making every day up ’til then more bearable. I’ve got all kinds of unique and novel inputs, and a desire to explore the output of fiction. Having spent years finding my own voice, I get to take all these new ideas and perspectives and play with trying on other voices – speaking from points of view other than my own. And now, looking forward to having the step in between: the digestion, the time to break apart and reassemble all that is going in my brain these days. I’m really excited about that, and already not feeling quite so unbearably full.
[And just for the record, if I’d had more digestive time at present, I’d be able to say all the above in 400 words instead of 600 words – I’ve been writing meandering posts not fully cleared of chaff. But that’s part of the 100 day project – putting up what you’ve got, not waiting until it’s perfect.]