Making My Own Reality

Couple of things happened the last few days that made me pause.

The first thing happened a couple of days ago when I was reading a book (Stoner by John Williams if you’re interested – skip the part in the brackets if you’re not. What’s that? ‘Tool late!’ you cry. OK, just to make it worth stopping now, I’m just going to type some random words that you can avoid grean ypres frome gurky swame and grolly driv swerthy upsomt. There). I put it down for a few seconds to take a bite of my sandwich. To my surprise I found that I hadn’t stopped reading the story, even though the book was face down on the table. In fact, what I was doing was carrying on writing the the next lines of the story in my own head, that is to say, I was writing my own version. Boy did that feel freaky!

The other thing happened just this morning. I’d finished writing a few words for Camp NaNoWriMo (see earlier post) and was in the process of putting the laptop away on top of the wardrobe. My state of mind could be described as ‘distracted’ probably because I was running late. Whilst in this state, I walked into the wrong room and started to put my laptop on top of a wardrobe that didn’t exist; except that, for a half of a second, it did! As I hoisted the laptop up into thin air, I watched my mind distinctly form the image of a wardrobe top. For half a second, the wardrobe was there, solid as anything. I was lucky it was only there for a second, otherwise I would have popped the laptop on top of it and it would have puffed out of existence along with my imaginary wardrobe!

Or maybe not.

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4 thoughts on “Making My Own Reality

  1. *Checking the temperature on this guy’s forehead*

    Maybe you should up up a wardrobe there. Seriously, it must be a sign of some kind.

    I can also do the reading thing sometimes. And that, that must be a sign of good literature, or, at least that it’s able to grab you thoroughly. It invites your mind to continue imagining the story. Whether you’re heading in the right or wrong direction doesn’t really matter. I would see that as a HUGE compliment if a reader did that while reading one of my texts.

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    • The wardrobe thing – the psychology I’ve studied suggests that we do this all the time, that we live in a constructed reality where the ‘real world’ is actually nothing like what we perceive, but that our brain takes the information, interprets it and projects an estimation of the world for us to use for navigation purposes. The fact that I caught a glimpse of it happening is not so much a sign of something, but a glimpse into a process that is normally seamless and lightning fast. I feel privileged to have caught such a glimpse.
      The book thing – I think that came about because I’ve been writing more than reading lately – this is my first novel – and the writing process is probably rewiring my brain. It feels really good.
      I made a resolution at the start of the year to be more of a creator and less of a consumer, and I like what it is doing to me (or should that be: I like what I’m doing to myself?)
      Never a victim be – circumstance is our food, not our foe. (just made that up)

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  2. this reminds me of when you’re reading something really boring, and you drift off and start thinking of other things, but your eyes are still reading, until you realise and haven’t actually absorbed anything since you got bored. Now, I’m not saying I did that while reading your post, just that the idea of continuing to read after you’ve put the book down is a bit like that. The opposite, perhaps.

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    • Happens to me all the time Neil – I drift off into a micro-sleep and have the most amazing micro-dreams with my eyes open. I wish I could remember them when I wake a few micro-seconds later because I get the feeling that they’d make awesome stories!

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