October 11
People who have gone through sorrow are more sympathetic than others, not so much because of what they know about sorrow, but because they know more about happiness. They appreciate its value and its fragility, and welcome it wherever it may be. The Puritan attitude which grudges happiness belongs only to those who have never entered very deeply into life. ----- Freya Stark, Beyond Euphrates


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JANUARY 20, 2010 4:08PM

I Think I Think Too Much

Rate: 49 Flag

There’s some kind of undercurrent running through my brain.  Some as-of-yet unidentified but fast moving river of discomfort that is about to blow up and destroy all the current settings of my inner iPod.  I’ve had two dreams that tell me something’s up. 

First dream – my throat swells up like a bullfrog. 

Second – my kitchen countertop buckles. 

The throat swelling probably means I’ve got stuff to say and it’s stuck in my throat.

The kitchen countertop probably means the basis for everything I create is about to shatter (kitchens=making meals=creating the stuff we can’t live without=you can’t live on bread alone).  Either that or I had a premonition of the Haitian earthquake – which is highly unlikely.

Amidst all the new revelations I've had recently, one of the most powerful was when Chicago Guy introduced me to the StrengthsFinder test.  I had never considered how I operate intellectually.  Honestly, I had never even pondered my strengths.  We typically are told our weaknesses over and over – in the hope that we can overcome them.  While our strengths are ignored or downplayed – as if we will appear boastful or prideful to recognize them and nurture them.

My Five Strengths resulted in the following analysis:  I love ideas, I have a craving to know more, I’m interested in the process of learning, I am introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions, and I go with the flow.  Bullseye.

This fascinated me because I never realized that I was doing this – I just did it.  I remember when I was about 13 years old, studying the Cyrillic alphabet because it was in the back of the dictionary.  The dictionary was one of my most oft-used books.  Nowadays when I’m confused or curious about anything, I head straight to the half-price book store (they’re cheap and a lot of books that would not interest the major chains can be found there).

For a long time I thought most people did this.  Then, after realizing that they did not – I thought I was weird.  Now I’m happily pursuing my own brand of knowledge gathering – going with the flow for the most part anyway.

The problem I’m having lately is one of thinking stuff I can’t put into words – yet. 

I don’t have a circle of friends who like to discuss intellectual matters.  “Intellectual” makes it sound so froufrou – it would seem to me that anybody who lives and works and plays and participates in life would be interested in the world around them.  That’s a rare breed in my neighborhood.

I just want to let you know that there are so many things floating around in my head lately that I’m off kilter.  I apologize to anybody who’s posts I regularly read – if I’ve missed a few it’s because I’ve got too much going on at work, at home and in my head.

And in the meantime, here's what it's like inside my head:


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(I don't know why I feel compelled to yell 'first' and punch 'post this comment', but I do. And it is a cheap thrill.)

Skel, am glad to hear from you. I love this: "about to blow up and destroy all the current settings of my inner iPod". I can relate to the feeling but your words capture so much right there. Having met you and reading your posts, I'd say the 5 strengths are YOU. But something is pulling you away from you. At those times, I know it's best for me to limit my external stimulation and it sounds as tho this might be a way for you to take care of yourself. Or, not, I worry that you are not talking enough...?
There is rainbow with a pot of gold at the end just waiting for you.
You and me both. Right down to the second hand bookstores and the alphabet in the back of the dictionary. Not frou frou... no... eclectic, sure. It's my middle name.
You aren't alone in having those undercurrents running around your mind; if I was to lay out some of my more unusual dreams in a post y'all would think I was a lunatic or worse.

"I don’t have a circle of friends who like to discuss intellectual matters. “Intellectual” makes it sound so froufrou – it would seem to me that anybody who lives and works and plays and participates in life would be interested in the world around them. That’s a rare breed in my neighborhood."

It's a rare breed in my neighborhood too; that's why I'm on OS all the time discussing things with people who don't mind thinking. Rated for astute dream self-analysis and for Pink Floyd.
Thoughts are like a river. Sometimes they overflow, sometimes they wait for a current to guide them. I predict you'll be swimming furiously in the intellectual waters soon.
"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." -Joe vs. The Volcano

This quote made me think of you...xox
Oh my god -- what was I doing not posting all this crap in my head -- I need you guys so much!

Thank you for the validation. And Chuck, thank you for the divination.

mypsyche: you're right -- too much Democracy Now and too many documentaries. Not enough talking -- maybe I need a day trip to your hood.

Donna: a pot of black eyed peas would suffice, but thank you for the wish.

ranting: Eclectic -- my word from here on out.

Nana: so glad to see you here -- and I really appreciate your wisdom.

Chuck: what can I say? I love you, man.
Don't apologize for not being around. I think we all need to take breaks from time to time. For various reasons. I wish I had more time to cultivate friendships on OS but kids, job, life all preclude that.

Right now, anyway. I always just consider it a bonus whenever you post something.
Ah, Robin -- I'm going to print that out and post it next to my computer. XOXOXOXOX
Chris Brown: Isn't it weird how much love we have around here? Okay, we have a lot of non-love, too -- but thanks very much for that vote of confidence.
I know the feeling of which you write . . . I really, really do. I call it being "trapped in my head." People around me don't usually seem to notice, but then again, like you, I'm surrounded by folks who are not the type to talk about large ideas.

An old friend used to say "sometimes the bucket is full." He was usually talking about when a person has taken all the shit they can, and some is going to spill over. But I find that it also applies to the times that my brain is full - for whatever reason.

Sometimes I try "free writing" - just scribbling down some stream of consciousness and seeing where it goes. Sometimes, I just get really quiet. And I listen for the clue, the "click," that inspires or directs my next steps. And sometimes, it's better for me to just ramblingly talk, kind of like this comment.

Be good to yourself, skel. You're one of the good ones.
By the way, for what it's worth, Raven says there are 3 planets in retrograde . . . so, there's that.
Owl: they say in AA, my mind is a dangerous place to venture alone. And oddly enough, I had typed a very long rambling post of all the crap circling around in my brain -- only to lose it all to an OS glitch. DOH! I HATE when that happens. Then, waiting for an elevator next to a guy texting on his little thing-a-ma-jig, two elevators doors open up. I jump on one -- he fucking jumped on with me! sonofabitch -- that pissed me off. Then i sat back down here and wrote this post. I feel so much better being back in touch with the ones who get me. Thanks Owl.

Lulu&Phoebe: I watched a documentary about the making of Dark Side of the Moon and promptly downloaded it from iTunes. It was the culmination of a 2 day marathon of documentary watching for me. After the Pink Floyd all I could hear was "you missed the starting gun".
So it goes. For me it was encyclopedias. Dictionary's didn't come into play unless I needed to look up words. The only place I can go for the kind of discussion you speak of is here. I can finish and idea without interruption, I know that outside of a few bad eggs, there will be no acrimony over disagreement, that I will not be ridiculed for having an idealistic mindset. I understand that for most of you folks there are many different things demanding your attention. My life consists of long spell with nothing to occupy me but thought. Sometimes I feel like a bird beating my wings against a dusty window. Able to see the world but, unable to touch it anymore.
Owl: tell Raven to let me know when to expect the retrograde to go away.

Bobbot: it is kinda like leading a double life -- typing and reading one life. Hearing and speaking another. We need a big OS get together.
Skel--You have 3 "thinking" strengths. you apologizing for thinking is like Julia Child apologizing for cooking!

Here's the part I love:

"The problem I’m having lately is one of thinking stuff I can’t put into words – yet." I love that "yet."

Your ideation strength means you are hard wired to put ideas into pictures. Maybe they are word pictures; maybe other kinds.

The bubbling up of all that intellectual firepower of yours is---I am sure---pretty intense.

The heavy duty combo of thinking strengths you have enabled you to figure out not just the words in the book but also the foundational ideas behind them. Most people can't do that on their own. They need to talk it through with someone. You did it on your own which is really impressive.

And as all that intellectual power keeps coming---you have your "go with the flow" adaptability talent to keep you sane.

That and the fact that somebody with your unique combination of strengths is simply destined to apply it to something of an intellectual scope that goes way beyond the way most people even think.

You think different than most people. And I have a pretty good hunch that you'll be connecting with people who do the same.
You hit me on the head with this one:
"The problem I’m having lately is one of thinking stuff I can’t put into words – yet."
I can't say that I'm "intellectual" but I definitely don't have anyone around me to whom I can talk either. Guess I'm with Nana on that one. That's why I'm on OS so much although not as much lately as in the past. Me, too: "I’ve got too much going on at work, at home and in my head."
Maybe Owl and Raven have something there with the planets being in retrograde. If so, wonder when things will get better. Raven, any idea? 'Cause I sure could use some encouragement!
Nicely done, Skel!
First of all, Great Gig In The Sky? Fantastic song and quite an image is presented when used to describe what's inside your head. I'm sure you'll feel this way for a while and then, hopefully, without warning, it will pass. I find that if I can focus on something, a hobby or tangential pursuit not usually a part of my daily routine, it can be most helpful. In the meantime, we're here.
I think the way your brain works is incredible. I love your posts and comments. You rock!
Just keep writing, Sarah. I kind of like the inside of your head.
I hate to break it, but this IS a sign of intellect. Now you got me thinking...again. Rated.
JK: overrated and underused -- ; )

Chicago Guy: You've no idea how great it is to read your words -- and thank you for that prognostication. Really. Thank you. That's part of the problem, and most of the solution, I think. Ohhh, there I go again.

Sharon Kay: You know now I have to go delve into astrology to find out all the details about this retrograde. :)

Smithery: ahhhh, I watched the documentary about Dark Side and the woman who sang this did it the first take. They told her to sound like she was dying. My problem with hobbies is that there's too much to choose from but I appreciate the suggestion. I think I need to watch a few Hollywood blockbuster movies - that's usually enough to slow down the thought process. (No offense, Blumenthal)

Gwendolyn: I love you -- consider yourself kissed (not on the lips, but you know, a big sloppy kiss on the cheek)

Frank: keep writing, keep writing, keep writing . . . thanks, I'll remember that

Thoth: keep thinking, keep thinking, keep thinking.

Blumenthal: bookstores are where people who have more time than money hang out.
Skel, at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I really think I get you.
And I sure do like and appreciate you. r
Joan: yeah, you get me -- and it's not presumptuous. I like you too dear one.
If thats going on inside hour head, join the crowd. I would love to read any post you write, regardless of the subject. There are some great people here that love you. Write it, and we will come!!
No one like Pink Floyd! I know that which way to think, what first, no this, wait that, where was I... Take your time it will all become clear, well or not and you'll get used to it!
Oh, hell, I KNOW I think too much.
scanner: this post is much more organized than my thoughts -- it's a struggle sometimes. Like Seigfried & Roy are working overtime in my brain. And I think I'll make it a priority to write something -- anything -- every day from now on. The feedback from this place always simmers me down.

lunchlady: EXACTLY! you nailed it.
Ash: And do you ever say out loud what you think? I think through the years I conditioned myself to keep mum because I couldn't bear the shocked expressions of those around me when i did say what was going through my mind. here, though, I just get a lot of nods in understanding, hugs, kisses and attaboygirls.
Hi. Even though we've rarely if ever met I do know what you are talking about. For times filled with odd, scary dreams, strange daily encounters (man in elevator) and the inner iPod all shuffled out (you put it much better): I free write. A lot of writers use "The Morning Pages" for these times. I stick to Natatlie Goldberg which is better if you call one friend and free write to one of your great liines above. One or t'other and soon you['ll know. I hope.
wendy: thanks -- I think I actually have Goldberg's book at home.
Sister-Sarah! I've got stuff that spins and spins and churns, seeking connections and maybe something worthwhile to say. It takes me a long time to "write" something this way, but that's how it works... and then I get myself all in a knot and doubt that anything will come out, and I start stumble-typing after much procrastination. Anyway... sometimes the stuff in my head is way to loud and I'm no fun at all for anyone around me.
Gosh, all these froufrou folks. [just wanted to type "froufrou." never did it before. it was fun!]

Yeah, the head's buzzing constantly. Partly it's because we're hear. So many writers, so many ideas, so little time. It's fabulous and -- I said this in another comment thread just moments ago - overwhelming. But we can handle it!

BTW, if you're not familiar with Daedalus Books, it's probly the largest online remainder table, bar none. Great great bargains for brand new books, many of them unavailable in mainstream outlets. Here 'tis:
Hear? Uh huh. Here!

mea culpa
Sister Sarah: I noticed that lately I'm getting pissed off -- I have worked very hard at maintaining my serenity so when I feel pissed off, I just know there's something happening. Every time I start a post, I am convinced it's a bunch of nonsense and absolutely no one will want to read it. And finally i write it and this happens. Maybe they'll add skype to the features on here and we can all actually talk to each other someday.

Clark: thanks for the heads-up -- I'm definitely checking that out.
Great post. A lot of us on O.S. can probably relate. Can't wait to hear if your kitchen countertop dream comes true and everything buckles - for awhile.
I've had this too the throat thing. I seem to wake every morning with something stuck in my throat. I know it's energy blocked there. I know what you mean when you say that there's activity there just not the words to express. It's a kind of holding pattern. Seems so strange, like a gestation period. When I feel grandiose I think: Just wait, when I get the words everyone will be floored by them! Hah. Unlikely. But I still can't wait for all the buzz and interference to transform into something coherent and wise. In the meanwhile I think you express this so well.
Hi skel,
I are not always innalectual - I just yelled "Shut the fuck up!" at my dog barking out in the yard - tells you something about my neighborhood - but I always appreciate your point of view and the way you come at an issue. Don't let your kitchen counter break!
Hey :) I can relate to not having people to talk to and feeling like I think too much. This was great.

oh... and Robins quote rocked.
Btw... strengthsfinder test? Are you talking about the book? Or something else? I poked around Chicago Guy's blog and couldn't find it. lol. Snoopy, aren't I...!
re: the circle of friends--ah, here we are. Have at!
Deborah: thanks -- I'll keep OS posted -- seems to work better than just THINKING about it all the damn time.

Gail: at least nowadays we recognize the symptoms, right? Buckle up!

sixty: OMG ROFLMAO thank you for that laugh.

donnastreet: considering the current state of the US gov't. I'd wager a guess that thinking-types are scattered around-- few and far between.

Amanda: nice to know we're not alone -- not here in virtual land anyway.

Almighty: Yeah, the meditation thing is exactly what I need to be doing. When I feel myself getting short tempered that's a sure sign I need to chill out. Watching back to back documentaries does not promote inner peace. :)
AtHOme: here you are indeed. Well, now that YOU are here, WE are here.
I don’t have a circle of friends who like to discuss intellectual matters. “Intellectual” makes it sound so froufrou – it would seem to me that anybody who lives and works and plays and participates in life would be interested in the world around them. That’s a rare breed in my neighborhood.

It would be a dreadful and boring experience...
Xe: "It would be a dreadful and boring experience..." could you expand on this, please? You mean having an intellectual discussion would be dreadful and boring?
Well, first, you have definitely been around for me, and I am eternally grateful. You did quite a nice thing for me touched my heart.

"While our strengths are ignored or downplayed – as if we will appear boastful or prideful to recognize them and nurture them." Isn't that so true and ultimately sad? When I realized this, I decided to change it. I remember saying I was a good mom at an AA meeting and people laughed like I was kidding - as if I must be using self-deprecating humor. It was a bit of an experiment, I will admit, and it probably wasn't the right setting, but I understand what you mean.

I found a group to discuss some intellectual matters - more ways of the universe, philosophy and spiritual matters. It was an Integral Theory group. I found it through and I participated for almost 2 years. Players changed and my interest waned after some time, but I really enjoyed it. I love - you can find some cool groups to join on there!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know, I can empathize. You are one amazing gal to me, lady!
Sparking! I tried a meetup group one time -- I think it was a little too bizarre, but maybe I shouldn't have gone with a metaphysical group, huh?
So glad you're looking at things, thinking about things as they actually are. Oh the possibilities when we do this! I loved this post, skeltnwmn!
Jill: I'm so glad to see you -- hope the struggle is going well.
Skel - freaky dreams - especially the bullfrog one. I, for one, can't wait to hear what is percolating in your mind - it's bound to be splendid. At least you're still able to put your thoughts into words. I just feel like an idiot lately. Like my brain fell out on the floor or something.
Yeah, I don't really like feeling that way.
UB: 5 second rule! Pick it up quick -- it is unbreakable after all. Tomorrow the day?
All those thoughts will come tumbling out on a beautiful cacophony of language perfectly put together when you least expect it.

In the meantime if you're feeling overwhelmed breath deeply, sustain the breath, let it out slowly and start over again.

p.s. i love dictionaries too
scarlett: the 8-7-4 breathing technique -- I know it well. Thanks for the vote of confidence
I think you think too much too, but at least you are having fun with your thoughts, think I.
trudge: I'm having fun NOW.
Skel - TODAY! He's home now! Maybe I'll be able to find my words again now...
UB: Hallelujah! I'm so happy to hear it -- tell him welcome home from me.
Just want to tell you I was here. & I'm listening
Trilogy: appreciate it.

Barking: Keep writing Keep writing Keep writing -- fighting that urge to believe the voice saying I don't have anything to say. :)
People aren't interested in much. They don't read. Learning is not a lifelong adventure to them. Thank God it is for you. Most of the English teachers in my department don't really like poetry, and for years I couldn't get anyone to willingly teach world literature.

The dictionary is my favorite book ever. I learn and laugh every time I open it--to the point that sometimes I don't even get to the word I'm really looking up! I like to do that in my classes to get kids to see how wonderful and serendipitous those little pockets of knowledge can be. They think I'm weird. Indeed I am, and proud of it.

Rated especially for the music. I already had headphones connected to my computer from some listening work I did yesterday, so I cranked the volume, closed my eyes, and let it enter me. It so perfectly matched what was already there.
Oh, forgot to tell you there's a musical group called FrouFrou. You might like them.
Good Daughter: I almost don't want to post a comment in reply to yours because your second comment brought the number of comments up to 69 and it's such a cool looking number when I see my blog -- that's the kind of weird shit I think about all the time.

The number 8 = infinity. I love number 8. In Tarot though, number 9 is really good cause it represents a higher state of being -- if you make it to 9, you're almost there.

I don't know why I'm saying all this -- I just decided to start putting this stuff out there.

For all us dictionary divers!
I love this and your mind...wish I wasn't so far to sit with you a spell and think out loud...
Mimetalker: oh, me too!
A new book is one you haven't read.

When I was growing up, my dad often said to me, "That's your problem. You don't think." More often he said, "That's your problem. you think too much."

I suppose as long as thinking was involved, it could not have been too bad.

Pink Floyd (The Wall) makes my bowels quiver and not in a good way.
Natalie: I wonder sometimes how things might have turned out if my dad had said ANYthing to me. I had just enough social butterfly mixed in with the intellect that I was easily distracted. My friends through the years have always told me I think too much -- which always made me think I needed new friends.
I understand this completely. I was too busy thinking about other things to get here sooner. No apologies required. We do have lives. Don't we...?
cartouche: lives? Well, I'd like to make mine more interesting, but yes, lives do take the majority of our time.
Great song, great stream
Lovely writing. It's all going very well, even if you may feel it isn't.
I think your head is delightful. Now write a post in Cyrillic. That would be soooo cool!
mical: glad you enjoyed both.

randy: yeah, I'm familiar with this discomfort that comes before a big paradigm shift.

Blevins: Доктор спасибо.