My Brain and I, At Odds

I do this thing where I write 1,000 words of fiction every morning. (Well, not every morning. Six out of seven mornings. And not that much, this year. But whatever. My unreliable schedule is not the point here, people!) Usually the words are inspired by a picture from DeviantArt. It’s a cool exercise. I get a lot of neat, if disconnected and largely unfinished, scenes and ideas.

I also (when I’m feeling reflective) get a look at the sorts of stories my brain tells itself when I’m not looking. (Since writing 1,000 words in the morning about a picture I’ve seen once, briefly, goes a lot faster when I don’t supervise.) This self-reflection is usually a lot more interesting then the stories themselves. I learn all kinds of things about the sort of stuff my brain believes. For example, my brain believes: There are no black people, violence is the best (and often only) solution, and horses are like cars, only cooler. (Thanks brain!).

Recently, I learned another one: Every person who lives in a desert is involved in an intense guerrilla war against a large, better-armed power and wears a turban. They are also religious, nomadic, desperate, and willing to die for ‘The Cause’. Also ‘desert’ is sneaky-brain code for ‘The middle-east’.

I was a little freaked out by that.

It’s like the only thing my brain knows about the stretch of land from North Africa to southern Russia is: AFGHANISTAN WAR AHMAD SHAH MASSOUD(American propaganda version) CAMEL SPIDERS!!

Thanks, brain!

We’ll1 have to work on this one. That’s the problem with letting stories write themselves. I don’t curate my brain. I just let whatever in and digest it, instead of analyzing it as I eat. So of course my brain comes up with things that, when viewed in a more critical light, are less then pleasant.

I don’t like turning around and looking back inside and realizing what a mess it is in there. (My head is creepy guys…) I usually avoid it.

I know it’s good. (If you don’t know what ideas and preconceptions are back there they can sneak out of the dark and drag you, screaming and still unaware, down into their bloody, bone littered lairs.) But it also means being reminded that I have to keep working on my seeing. Which is not encouraging. (I, like Sisyphus…) But that’s okay. I mean, that’s what life is, right? Just trying to learn how to do it a little bit better then last time.

But tell us, oh most wonderful Elena (I pretend you say, as you scan these words before rushing off to your not-me life) how are you going to go about fixing this?


I dunno, man.

Probably learn some stuff.
Learning stuff is cool, because it helps my brain think in new ways. I also like it because then when I watch a movie with Generic Turbaned Terrorists as the bad guys, I can ask questions which help me to think critically about the material, instead of just letting my brain eat and spit back out these bland and bloody pictures with no people in them.

1That’s the collective me, by the way. Yes, I am a collective.

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