Sometimes my brain gets so cluttered with random thoughts, assorted memories, song melodies, and useless mental junk, it feels as if there is a tornado spinning around inside my mind. It interrupts my sleep, blocks my vision, and takes over my conscious mind. Then, once the storm dissipates, it leaves me with all this muddle to have to deal with and sort through!
For the past two days, the song “Me and Bobby McGee” has been swirling in the whirlwind inside my head, thanks to an innocent email from a friend that set the needle onto this mental record player in my mind. It’s a great song, and I don’t mind sharing my brain with it, except that I got hung up on some of the words, which drove me crazy until I could get to my laptop to look up the lyrics, which then led me down a path of reading more about Kris Kristofferson and the songs he wrote. All of this prompted a bubbling up from the depths of my memory a variety of things that happened decades ago, which in themselves evoked other memories and thoughts. It’s a veritable storm raging!
So, what do I do about it? I walk. I put on my walking shoes and head out the door. With each step, and with each breath, I sort through everything rattling around inside my head, and like the librarian that I am, I do my best to catalog it for either permanent storage or future reference. In my mind, I turn these random thoughts and memories around in my mind, mentally looking at them from many perspectives to determine their worth. If there is something that is truly useless to me, but occupying my attention, I release it to the winds, and watch it drift away. As I walk, clarity returns, my heart rate steadies, my sense of centeredness returns, and all the cobwebs are shaken loose, giving me clearer sight and restored peace of mind.
Most of the time, walking does the trick. When it doesn’t, what do I do?
I write about it.
Ps. Bobby McGee, would you please find the nearest exit?