SOLC Day 5: Free Range Brain

March 2021 SOLC–Day 5
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
http://www.twowritingteachers.org

I mentioned in a recent post that I’ve been allowing my brain to free range on the commute to school. Instead of listening to an audiobook or to the radio, I’ve been letting silence reign in the car. I find my mind moving all over the place, jumping from thing to thing to thing. Here are a few of the thoughts that popped into my mind on the way to work yesterday before school-related thoughts took over:

  1. I really love spying hawks along the highway. I wonder how many I’ve driven past without seeing them. I wish I’d paid more attention to the birds over my life. I’m trying to make up for that these days.
    “Hi, Hawk!” I say aloud as a I pass one. I repeat it again shortly afterward when I pass another, admiring the long rays of the rising sun on his breast, adding, “Aren’t you a beauty!?”
  2. Is it possible that the guy in that blue Honda doesn’t realize that he’s on tailgating the person in front of him? Maybe instead of being aggressive or in a hurry, he’s just spaced out. Maybe his brain is free ranging, too.
    OK. Now that guy over there in that red truck is just a total jerk. No two ways about it.
  3. Do aggressive four square players become aggressive drivers? OMG, the thought of some of the current fourth graders as drivers is really, really frightening. I consider all the aggressive cherry bombing and my thoughts go straight to road rage. I make a concerted effort to change the direction of my thoughts.
  4. I miss my sisters. I don’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve seen any of them. We Zoom weekly now but that’s not really seeing, and we haven’t breathed the same air in…1 1/2 or 2 …years? How can that be? I ask Siri to text my oldest sister, “I miss you!”
  5. The sky is amazing this morning. Patches of gray clouds are purple lit from below. I love watching the evolution of the morning sky, but seldom spend time looking at the night sky. Why is that? The last few evenings, my daughter has come in from work at around 7, announcing, “The stars are gorgeous tonight!” I’d like to take time to look at the night sky. If only the wind would die down or the temperatures would rise. Somehow it feels exponentially colder to me when it’s dark outside. Is that a thing?
  6. I remember reading a book that described the night sky as similar to sparks of light shining through a colander. The author said it much more poetically than that. I think it was in “Transatlantic” by Colum McCann. I need to reread that passage. Oh, I’m pretty sure I listened to it so that could be tricky. Maybe I can check it out when I go to the library tomorrow.
  7. Could I write a poem that goes like this?:
    Once I read a book
    where the stars shone
    as if through a colander
    in the sky
    Now when I gaze
    heavenward
    all I can think about
    is spaghetti.

    This strikes me as incredibly humorous and I laugh out loud and quickly ask Siri to take a note so I don’t forget.
  8. I spy the moon, pale in the morning sky, and it seems like it was just full and now it’s waning so quickly. Somehow that makes me feel a bit sad. I know for sure that space will always dizzy me with its numbers and entrance me with its glories. How do people make sense of these huge numbers anyway? This universe? I’m not sure I even want to try to understand it all. Is that a bad thing?

And so on and so on and so on….

Thanks for joining me on my free ranging commute. What do you think about on the way to work?

15 thoughts on “SOLC Day 5: Free Range Brain

  1. Christine says:

    I recall several times when intentionally turning off the radio on my commute left me with many thoughts. It is so freeing. I loved reading these random streams but now I too will only think of spaghetti when I look at the sky. You must do something with that poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It is freeing. I’ve also come to realize that I need to have a time/space where I’m not taking in new information but letting my mind process what’s already in there. It’s been working for me right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your free ranging commute, especially the colander poem, and also the snippets of technology that weave into a mostly observational moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. humbleswede says:

    That is great. I feel like I was inside your head for that ride. So interesting how it ranges from the earthbound issues of tailgating and cherrybombing to the soaring images of hawks and waning moon. I love the poem with the stars, colander and spaghetti. That captures that range perfectly. I’m so into my book right now that I can’t free range today, but I love the idea of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I hadn’t noticed the earthbound to skysoaring nature of this post–thanks for pointing it out. Also, I’d love to know what you’re reading that has you so absorbed. (By the way, I do highly recommend Transatlantic, the book I mentioned here.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. terierrol says:

    Before I retired I usually listened to a book on my commute, otherwise all I would think about was what I needed to for school that day. Audio books made my ride more relaxing.
    I loved how you captured your free range thoughts and shared them. The beginning ideas of that poem are wonderful, hope to see more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m a huge fan of audio books! I agree that they help shift my brain out of “school mode.” I also have lovely memories of college visits with my kids involving long drives, lots of conversation and audio books–often an indulgent revisit to the Harry Potter series.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    I love reading about your ride to work, Molly, kind of listening to yourself as you drive. I like that time in the car, too, looking out & in! And your poem needs to be read by many others, so much truth in it. I love that ending: “one
    word
    at
    a
    time! It feels especially meaningful this past year as we lived “one day at a time”. Happy Weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I especially like the thought of the colander, the stars and the spaghetti. I love how you captured your consciousness of thoughts and how you intentionally moved your thoughts to something else when you were annoyed. That is a skill I definitely need to work on. This was a calming, beautiful read. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! I’m a master at shifting my mind from unpleasant thoughts. It’s not always the best skill to have, especially when overused, but it can be handy sometimes 🙂

      Like

  7. kd0602 says:

    Okay–the colander metaphor is brilliant! I love the free range brain–I especially appreciate that you were able to hold onto all of those thoughts long enough to write about them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      The colander metaphor is totally Colum McCann’s brilliance. (Transatlantic is a beautifully written book.) And regarding the ability to remember these things–ha! I asked Siri to take a note or two 🙂

      Like

  8. Thanks for taking me on your ride to school. It reminds me to turn off my current podcast more often!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s