Many who know me would state that I am reflective to a fault; more accurately they would call me a dreamer. Too often, my reflections morph into ruminations leaving a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I dream about change and then run in circles as to how to go about it. Turning 50 has amped up my reflective state to even higher levels, cluttering my mind with thought lists without an inkling of direction.
To quiet my mind, I turn once again to the clutter of others’ thoughts in Shaun Usher’s, Lists of Notes. List No. 045 is written by Sei Shonagon (Circa 996), a Japanese court lady, who wrote, The Pillow Book, which contained categorizations of her observations of life in 11th century Japan. Shonagon’s lists made me wonder what would fall under her penned categories today, and what messages these lists express about life in the 21st century.
And so my thoughts…
A pen that is filled with free-flowing ideas.
Wondering without Googling.
A collection of photos that do not include several selfies.
Correspondence through handwritten letters.
Dining in a restaurant in which all tables are focused on the art of conversation rather than an electronic device.
An honest display of self on FaceBook.
Skipping when you feel the urge.
Holding a baby in your arms, soaking in its smells and innocence.
A collective groan in the classroom when it is announced that silent reading or journaling has come to an end.
Lamenting the end of book or poem.
Sharing words with good friends and losing track of time as you converse into the wee hours of the morning.
Laughter that bubbles up from the toes.
A room that houses a worn, comfortable chair featuring shelves and shelves and shelves of books.
The light pitter-patter of rain that follows a torrential downpour.
Holding hands with your children.
The warmth of the sun on your face after a long, cold winter.
Things that should be small
Insecurities and self-doubt.
Ego; perhaps even non-existent.
Unique trinkets that fit into small, beautiful boxes.
Serving portions on a plate.
Troubles and challenges.
Things now useless that recall a glorious past
The ubiquitous cell phone that has laid the landline to rest. Remember the swoooosh as you rotated the dial and the click-click-click-click of its return on the rotary phone?
Record players highlighted by its collection of albums; in fact, all visible collections of music.
The tick-tick-tick of an 8mm movie projector.
Button collections in jars.
The sound of a modem connecting.
Opening the door for someone or helping someone carry their groceries – basic chivalry.
Having a conversation with someone who is looking at an electronic device.
Heavy traffic on a Saturday afternoon.
Vision without direction.
Narrow-mindedness – an unwillingness to seek understanding.
I realize the lists under each heading are infinite and so my mind remains cluttered. Reading back over my thought lists, I wonder what they reveal about our current century, about me, and what I am to do with such knowledge. I continue to ruminate; I have decided this is not a bad thing.