“And I’m saddened by the thought
That sometimes I think too much
And though I might be right here
You know that I’m really not”

– Dan Mangan & Shane Koyczan,
Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move

I’ve been keeping busy lately.  Working on stuff in the real world, sparing little time to dwell on the things in my head.  The work keeps my mind preoccupied, and so long as I’m not feeding the flames with attention the firestorm of thoughts in my head die down. Unfortunately stepping out of my head also means stepping away from writing about what’s in it, and I always seem to find myself caught between a rock and a hard place when that happens.

The distractions are relieving, but temporary.  The thoughts always find a way to come back, worming their way to the surface in their unrelenting quest to be heard.  Is this what you’ve come to? they whisper.  Is this your life?  Occupying yourself with meaningless distractions in futile attempts to stifle your true nature?  Simply postponing the inevitable?  Sometimes I feel like everything I do is done with that shadow over my head, like all my time is spent waiting for the darkness to settle in again.

And what about your writing?  Are you really going to turn your back on that too?  Cut it out, just like you’ve cut out so many other important things in your life?  You can’t pretend to be something you’re not; at least not forever.  Sooner or later the mask will fall, and when it does I’ll be there.

They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, but I don’t think the ownership changes hands that easily.  I think it’s less about who’s workshop it is and more about what you make in it.  Or rather what you make out of what’s already in it.  So I can preoccupy my mind with as many little projects as I can find, but at the end of the day it’s still the same old workshop under the same old ownership.  The renovation required to change that is a long, ongoing process with no foreseeable end in sight, and few results to gauge my progress along the way.

Even so it feels good to feign normality, at least for a little while.  To push everything to the back and live in the moment, pretend all there is is here on the surface.  They never let me stay long, but at least I get a taste of what might have been.


5 thoughts on “An Idle Mind

  1. This is a feeling I know well. While what you are doing can feel like an escape and an inauthentic version of you, it is actually a healthy move. Those feelings of guilt and abandonment of the real you are the black dog talking. Don’t listen to him, push on. You’re doing great.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, you’re not going to believe this, but I actually thought of you as I wrote that sentence! I had a feeling you’d say something along those lines, and I almost put a little disclaimer in just for you ;) I suppose technically I should have said “feign my interpretation of normality”, but that’s what I meant.

      I do appreciate both the reminder and the confirmation though!

      Liked by 1 person

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