The greatest pleasure in life is taking time to think about stuff. Okay, the greatest pleasures are eating ice cream on a hot day or napping on a cold rainy one, but I think thinking ranks right up there.
I donít mean thinking thoughts about important things like Quantum Physics, light as a wave, or even the consequences of a light wave to an old flame while youíre standing with your new spark; Iím talking about reflecting upon the beauty of light on a wave.
While it is fundamental that we spend time contemplating important matters, the real fun is found in using our gray matter to philosophize about those things that donít matter, like the hornet slumbering on the outside pane of my kitchen window. Because I have thought about it before, I know hornets sleep; now I wonder if they dream. Do you need a brain to dream? Do hornets have brains? I suppose to dream, one must at least have an idea. Which leads me to believe a hornet, having had the idea to land on my window to snooze, can most certainly dream.
Or birds- do they know they can fly? Do they know flight is something man can only accomplish in his dreams?
Or big crackers. I donít like big crackers.
Now I know thatís probably not of interest to you, and I realize there are things happening around your home, around your work and around the world that make my cracker issues a non, but please, big crackers should be a little lessÖ around. For one reason: You cannot eat a big cracker with one hand. When you take a bite it cracks and one half ends up on the floor. There are certain absolutes in this world:
1) Dogs are male
2) Cats are female
3) It shouldnít take two hands to eat a cracker.
Two-handed cracker eating is defeating the purpose- you might as well go ahead and make a sandwich. Am I right? Maybe Iím just crackers.
Thinking unshackles the mind and like a good Yoga pose liberates the limitations of the flesh, the delusions of sense, and the pitfalls of thoughts of self, thus helping one attain union with the object of knowledge. For most Yogi that object is the universal spirit Brahma, for me the object of knowledge is, well truthfully I donít have an object of knowledge and never actually care if I learn anything, because even if I accidentally do learn something while deep in thought, Iíll only forget it, and if I hear it again will think to myself, "Iíve heard that before, but I canít remember where and I canít take time to think where I heard that because I canít remember where I put my shoes and right now I need my shoes more than I need an object of knowledge."
I simply think about things without thinking why I think about things. I think therefore I am... usually late to work.
Still, there is no doubt, that however deep or shallow, thought allows you to expand your horizons. Look what wondering did for Bill Gates. I read somewhere (I donít remember where) that Billís mother was concerned he spent too much time alone in his room and nagged him to go outside to play with the neighborhood children. He called down to her, "Leave me alone and let me think! Donít you ever just sit and think?" I guess she didnít, but I, being in the same league as Bill Gates certainly do.
We recently had a mouse in the house. It somehow got into the pantry and dined upon a bag of Cheetos. I wondered when he finished eating if his tiny little mouse lips were orange. I sat and thought about that all morning. Of course his little mouse lips were orange. I bet his tiny mouse paws were too.
This talent for thinking is obviously genetic. My sister was recently thinking about real estate. Not buying, selling or investing, but about lot dimensions. It seems the piece she owns had a weird triangular "jut" at the far corner.
"What earthly good is that 'jut'?" she asked me. "Why canít the world be in nice neat squares?"
Iíd like to know the answer to that myself. Why canít the world be in nice neat little squares? Sure would make fence buying easier. Iíll have to think about that some more.
The point is this: to contain your thoughts, no matter how flighty, is to cage your soul. Let both soar; youíll love the freedom flight brings.
Thatís what I think.
L.E. Hughes is a columnist, writer and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© August 2005 Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.