I've always admired the to-me-heartbreaking line from The Elephant Man, where Joseph Merrick says, “I sometimes think my head is so large because it is so full of dreams.”
Though I was blessedly spared Merrick's physical deformities as a writer I fully identify with his statement, and frequently think of his words when I am searching for a subject for my next blog. It isn't that I can't think of subjects, it's that I can think of far too many. It's rather like picking one raindrop from a thunderstorm, or one snowflake from a blizzard.
Metaphors! Now, there's a good subject for a blog! But where to start? One leads to another, which leads to another, and they all drop into the blender of my mind and are whipped into a puree.
Having done so many blogs over the years, it's inevitable that certain broad themes, and often specific topics, keep showing up. I should have some way of organizing them to avoid too-frequent duplication...which of course leads me to the subject of/fact that organization is not something for which I am noted. And my shortcomings—real or self-perceived—have themselves provided me with an endless number of blog topics: lack of patience; what I can no longer or never could do physically; comparisons to others; the process of growing older, etc.
Memories and nostalgia consume far too much of my life and are proportionately (or disproportionately) represented in my blogs. My inability to let go of the past, my insistence on berating myself mentally and emotionally for mistakes made and pain unintentionally inflicted on myself and others throughout my life.
Rants and rages against internet spam, commercials, a certain unnamed political party, bigotry, hatred, intolerance, organized religion, and an endless string of social wrongs, I sometimes fear, outnumber those subjects which bring me boundless joy; music and kindness and beauty and words and writing and Broadway musicals and the wonders of just being alive. Lakes and rivers and forests and pebbles on a beach under a dazzlingly blue sky through which whipped-cream clouds float majestically, and wind-driven snow whipping horizontally past a window, the cannon/tympani rolls of thunder and cymba´l-clash bursts of lightning, all are fodder for my mental blender. Travel—being places I have either never been or revisit after very many years; seeing places I'd never imagined I would be able to see in person. London, Paris, Rome, Pompeii, Cannes. On and on and on.
Life and death...existence and non-existence...utterly consume and fascinate me. The conflicts and contradictions of living in the mind while simultaneously living in and dealing with the day-to-day challenges of the real world can, if I allow them to, boggle my mind. My fingers keep typing words like a small jet of water shooting from a tiny crack in a huge dam. (Metaphors, anyone?)
I am driven to write my thoughts and opinions and philosophies on the human condition, which are no more nor less valid than yours except that you are reading mine at the moment and I express them in the hopes that you might in some way relate to them.
There's an old folk tale—Jewish, I believe—of there being seven men on earth chosen to suffer all the mishaps of human existence, to spare the rest of humanity from experiencing them. It would be nice if I had been chosen to think about all the things I do so that you won't have to, and can get on with your lives.
Which brings us back to a subject for my next blog. Tell you what—why don't you choose one from those mentioned above and let me know? I'll be happy to oblige.
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1).