A very pleasant room

Brain things / Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Confession: I can see the inside of my mind.

Do you believe me? It’s really true.

There’s a little desk where my consciousness sits at the head of the room, facing low double shelves containing rows and rows of manila folders packed with information. There are unseen helpers that manage all the folders under my guidance, bringing needed items to the desk and shelving what is finished for now.

The desk is my workspace, where I sit in a swivel chair and look over the items at hand, usually no more than six or seven, an array that is constantly changing, constantly updated as new messages come in.

Sometimes when I am drifting off to sleep and my guard is relaxing, a random file falls off the shelf, so that in the middle of drowsy nothingness I suddenly recall with perfect clarity what the ceilings in my childhood home looked like, or how the tongue of a kitten feels on my hand. I like this. It tells me sleep is coming, and a watcher puts the file back in its place.

The far wall of the room is dominated by a big picture window, from which I look out on God. The view is beautiful—a tree in the foreground and low green hills in the distance. There’s a padded window seat beneath, with a round donut cushion on the left-hand side. Flanking the window are solid wood shelves with a dark finish, containing what looks like old books, beautifully bound in various colors. These are the archives—the important things I can never remember, and never forget.

There’s a door on the right side of the room. I do not know yet where it leads, but I think it is the exit.

It is a very pleasant room.

Behind my seat the floor drops off abruptly. I do not see this unless I turn.

There is a second story below the one in which I sit. It took me a long time to realize this, but it is where my subconscious lives. I thought it was all dark down there, and I was rather frightened, because I know that when I sleep there are strange interplays between the upstairs and downstairs in ways I do not understand. But I am not afraid now.

I see that the downstairs is not blackness at all, but gray low-lit passages leading on and on into one another—who can say how far and how deep they reach? I can see much more than I thought at first, but not a fraction of the whole.

If I am not careful of proper filing, thoughts and information slip off the desk to the floor behind me, and from there into the subconscious, where I generally never find them again. I try to file carefully all that I want to remember. There is more information than I can fathom packed in those manila files, all categorized and accessible—how many folders just for the lyrics of songs?

When I am looking for a particular file and cannot find it (say, the name of that waitress last night, or the grocery item I must not forget—a factoid on the tip of my tongue yet wholly inaccessible), I’ve found it doesn’t help to break my head trying. I simply send a helper to search for it, while I think of something else for a few minutes. The next time I check, I generally find that the desired information is laid on my desk waiting for me.

There is a black trash can behind me, on the floor of the subconscious below, in which I may place very firmly a thing I do not wish to remember, usually something I read or heard, though I must do it at once. After it has been filed on the shelves it cannot be relocated to the trash. It is not a large can.

There are hairline fissures in a crackle pattern all over the upstairs floor. This is where humor goes—not shelved, but trickling down through the conscious into the subconscious. It tickles, and I laugh. The floor of every mind is cracked differently, which is why some things that I find impossibly funny mean nothing to you, and vice versa. I don’t have cracks for puns.

You may think that I am making all of this up, but I am not. It’s a chronicle of discovery, not invention; I am always learning more.

“I like this about myself, and I like myself, and I have a lot of other great qualities as well…” 🙂

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

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9 years ago

I love you… mind, body, and soul. You are an amazing woman.

9 years ago

I think this is the most amazing description of our mind etc. that I have ever, ever read. I like it. I hope you some day publish a book.

9 years ago

I like this Shari! Very interesting, and food for thought. Two things make me sad though.

One: my lyme is making my helpers go find files for me that I desire, but never return to the desk. This makes me feel very dumb and unable to communicate effectively, even with the best of friends. Frustrating!

Two: I wish the trash can was bigger, and that things placed there would stay put. Somehow, the very files we wish to destroy have a way of climbing back out and waving themselves in front of our faces. I’m glad that the bigger the picture window of God, the smaller those files become.

9 years ago

I feel like I should tell you how much I like your description of your mind. But what I really want to say is, “Thanks for introducing me to Marcel the Shell.”

9 years ago
Reply to  deepeight

My life has not been in vain!

Isn’t she great?? 🙂

Marlene Stoltzfus
9 years ago

It is a pleasant room! It’s too bad I can’t just drop into it to experience its nuances.

And I love Marcel the Shell. 🙂

9 years ago

This is fascinating, amazing! I am blessed at seeing this part of who Shari is.