Thursday, March 4, 2010

Please Stand By...

"Life is improv. Marry a writer."
~Mark Feuerstein

I'm sure I'm not the only one who experiences this. You ever have mental conversations with people that are so thorough and real that it takes you some time to realize that they never actually made it out of your mind into reality?

I had some messages sitting in my inbox and only realized two weeks after their arrival that I hadn't replied to them. I was certain I had answered them when really I'd just replied to them in my head. Perhaps it's the curse of being a writer; everything in my head is a grand story.

So, if we're sitting at coffee and I have a question mark on my face, it's probably because I've already had this conversation with you in my mind and it's not quite playing out the way I remember it. Bear with me. Eventually I'll join you in the rewrite.

tall penguin


ricercar said...

this happens to me too! and its sometimes annoying - or right now it is because i am realise i have negative fantasies, and in these conversations i anticipate negative things and have fights etc. then when the person really calls or i meet them its almost liek by that time i believe it happened. i'm really trying to figure out why i do this (not the head conversation but the negative fantasising

tall penguin said...

Dear ricercar,

Yes, the inner conversations can be quite the curse. The best you can do is learn to take a step back and realize that what goes on in the mind is rarely a reflection of reality. And that is true for all of us. It takes some training to keep this objectivity, but it helps one to function in the outer world.

Be gentle with yourself. Learn to watch the watcher, or the story weaver in this case. I'm learning that the best way to move with all of this stuff is to learn to be present in the moment as much as possible. This way you are responding to what is happening right now rather than the mind's story about what is happening right now.

(Not easy if you have a creative mind, so be sure to channel all that imaginative storytelling into your art or writing or other creative pursuit.)

heart2heart said...

I do this all the time! And as ricercar says, a lot of the time is negative, and I don't understand why. Perhaps my own negative self image is transferred to other people feeling the same way about me in these imaginary conversations. I find myself telling my brain to quit having imaginary conversations with real people! (Would it be better to have real conversations with imaginary people I wonder?...)

tall penguin said...

h2h: There's mental rehearsing which is common but can also be an OCD thing if you get stuck in a repetitive loop.

I don't do that so much (used to though) as much as I have a conversation in my mind and I think I've actually had it in real life, but it never left my brain.

I've also had dreams that I continued to think were real after I woke up. Once, it took me a few hours to sort out my dream from reality. Of course, it could be sleep deprivation which has always been an issue for me.

The brain is a vast universe and I'm reminded of this:

"Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi."

Ganga Fondan said...

now I understand our conversations better...LOL


tall penguin said...

Ganga, it's amazing anyone understands their conversations with me at all. :)

Anthony said...

I would prefer it if you reminded me of what I said in the first conversation. I'd hate to contradict myself.

tall penguin said...

But Anthony, that would spoil all the fun! :)

chocolate amer said...

sure you are right TP :-)