Swarms of Thoughts: thinking about thinking

Ways of thinking about things. 01

When I was growing up I thought a lot about skiing. It was an important to me although I had never been on skis. Just as roping and riding may have been important to youngsters raised on a cattle ranch. I was raised in Alaska and always wanted to ski, to be a skier, to buy ski equipment, to hang about by roaring fires in woody ski lodges and tell stories about skiing. I watched and thought about it so much that when I was in eighth grade I took my first lessons I had already invested much time in thinking about skiing. I took to it like a duck takes to water. I believe that I was prepped for doing it by all the pre-thought I had given it.

As for the cliché about ducks and water, I was thinking about instinct and intuition. I think that instinct is a pre-knowledge. Right? Ducks take to water, like ducks for a reason. They are pre-populated with duck thinking. The way a duck thinks is undoubtedly low-res. But also given to little internal reflection , self doubt and so on. Rather, a duck is simply gifted at duckness: at diving under water, at ambling about and nibbling on detritus, at flying south for the winter and so on. While not a perfect analogy it is helpful as the low-res version of what I am alluding to.

Writing is a way of thinking. Well certain types of writing creates or replicates intentional linearity of thought. What does that mean? Hmmm, well it is that I see our brains as swarms of ants crawling all around the busy ant farm. These little guys are all over, doing their various ant tasks. But as they leave the hill, they line up and come out in this line that is the letter-bound, word sequence that we use for communication. If we could read pages at a glance, and I mean see the whole page and consume it like we do a photo of a pastoral landscape image, then we could write in patterns and use hundreds of words as combined expressions. We could see the whole landscape of the ant-works as its whole. That is how we think.

I was talking to a friend one night and she asked me what my point was after a rambling set of disjointed paragraphs (not unlike those that precede this sentence) and I said that I did not have “a” point, but rather I had a cluster of ideas like a swarm of moths. They all form some sort of whole but we are not used to “idea swarms.” We train ourselves to line up the big thoughts in the ant mound and send them out like a choir taking the risers on the stage. They will all line up and line out as they fill the risers from left to right top to bottom. When they are all their they share the point.

This all goes to non-linear expression and to asynchronicity. But I am done scratching at the surface of these ideas for now. I have lost my way with today’s entry I will see if I can regroup by tomorrow.

I am caught with the genesis of thinking that happens with some metaphorical slap on our bare behinds after we are born. OK, I will stop now…



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