Usually, when I start a project, I want to have a clear idea of what it’s going to be. In the present case, I don’t, but perhaps that lack of a preset expectation on my part will enable something organic, something creative, to occur. I need a project to focus my mental energies and take some of those energies away from the neurotic meanderings of my mind, but I am yet unsure what sort of project will accomplish this goal without feeding further neurosis. I will have to see what develops and whether I have the stick-to-it-ive-ness, as my sister would say, to keep it going.
My initial notion of this blog is based on a quote that was displayed prominently above the chalkboard in my eighth grade language arts class.
“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke.
Until today, I never knew it was a quote–my recollections from that class, now eighteen years past, are not perfect–but Google does not lie. Mrs. Thomas, the teacher, had created a banner using stencils and colorful construction paper, and the quote certainly had pride of place at the front of the room. I have always remembered the quote as “Reading without analyzing is like eating without digesting.” Perhaps my substitution of “analyzing” for “reflecting” is indicative of my rather more active manner of thinking about anything that crosses my path. When “reflecting,” one can recline in a leather wing chair and, with eyes unfocused, saunter along clearly set out mental pathways. “Analyzing,” by contrast, conjures a certain twitchiness, a mental tangle that needs to be worked out. One does not analyze in repose. Or, at least, I do not.
Like many neurotics, I tend to analyze everything, including everything I read. The trouble I run into is that I generally do not have anyone to talk to about the things that I read. I don’t know anyone who has taste like mine, who has read what I’ve read and would be willing to talk about it. All that analysis without an outlet leads to a whole lot of crazy–thoughts that never get out of my head, context that no one else can understand because they’ve never heard it. Enter this blog!