Like Pooh, some­times I sits and thinks...

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BONDINGS - JOHN MASTER­SON

‘Some­times I sits and thinks. And some­times I just sits.” Win­nie the Pooh was my kind of philoso­pher. I have long said that I get my best work done in the bath. Or when asleep. Sleep­ing is good for think­ing. Dream­ing is not a waste of time. Things fall into place.

Doz­ing is even bet­ter though some­times it is hard to sort out the chaff from the wheat. I know I have had a lot of thoughts in this state that I wish I had writ­ten down.

Day­dream­ing is a great way to get some brain work done. It works well on a lazy­ish walk, a walk where I know the be­gin­ning and the end, but don’t have any hard and fast rules for what hap­pens in be­tween.

If all of the above fail it is hard to beat a cup of proper good cof­fee. I stress proper. In­stant should be banned.

When I say “Let me think about that,” I usu­ally mean the di­rect op­po­site. It is some­thing I do not want to think about at that par­tic­u­lar mo­ment. I cer­tainly do not want to come up with an an­swer, or opinion, be­cause it will be pure luck if it is the cor­rect one.

It is not that I want to put it off for ever. I will of­ten jot down a word or two to re­mind me to come back to it. I then al­low my back­ground brain to do its work. The above are a few things that as­sist the brain in do­ing its back­ground job. Some time later it spits out an an­swer and usu­ally takes me by sur­prise. When I say “yes… that has been on my mind” that is true. But if I say I have given it some thought that is prob­a­bly a lie. But my brain has been work­ing away.

When an idea pops into my head I am aware that some peo­ple think of this as in­tu­ition as if it came from nowhere. Oth­ers re­fer to it as a ‘gut’ feel­ing but I go along with Carl Sagan on this. I pre­fer to think with my brain and use my stom­ach for di­ges­tion. Peo­ple fre­quently el­e­vate the gut feel­ing to a place far su­pe­rior than mere brain think­ing. This is an il­lu­sion. Lis­ten to the brain more care­fully and you will re­alise that the gut just rum­bles.

There are words, or phrases, that im­me­di­ately re­trig­ger a bad mem­ory for me. It is so quick that it al­most seems to by­pass the brain but I doubt it.

It is not a cliche to say that the older I get the more I re­alise how lit­tle I know. Thank­fully, there is hardly a day goes by when I do not hear my­self say­ing “I never thought of that be­fore”.

It may be that I am open to ideas, but again Sagan, and many oth­ers also cred­ited, hits the spot when he cau­tions against too open a mind in case your brain falls out.

With the brain tick­ing away per­ma­nently it is all too easy to be­come lost in thought. Thank­fully I can carry on some sem­blance of con­ver­sa­tion while my mind is else­where.

So could Pooh Bear.

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