Saturday, March 28, 2009

Other People's Thoughts

My youngest daughter gave me a gift, a round paper box she embellished with dried flowers from my mother’s garden. It’s called BOX OF THOUGHTS and in it are dozens of scraps of paper printed with pithy observations. I keep it on my bureau and whenever I think to, I reach in and take one out to read. I wish I thought to do it more often. Today I read:

"A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner." Louis L’Amour

Ah, yes. My own head, house for my own thoughts, is decorated with cheery scraps of bright ideas amid the mundane, more serviceable notions I entertain. I reside inside my thoughts, creating with my hands a place for the rest of me to live. My mind is aswirl with thoughts that didn’t originate there but grew from seeds planted by others, notions heard or read that I’ve mulled over and mulched and pruned and grafted until they’ve become hybrids. They are my thoughts now, some as familiar as an old sofa, some as new as a housewarming gift. My thoughts, my things—looking at them this way is like coming suddenly upon my own reflection, realizing, “Oh! That’s me!” simultaneously with, “Is that what I look like?”


introspection said...

What a lovely gift from your daughter. And thoughts are beautiful.

Paul said...

"A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner" - seems best that way to me. As you suggest, thoughts that didn't necessarily originate there can still become one’s own in terms of how we integrate them and what we do with them.

In the area of religion, people are often comfortable taking entire belief systems and exactly how they’re to be understood on the authority of others. I guess for some that works out OK but it's pretty clear that for others it turns religion into something provincial and dogmatic, or even hateful.

Barbara said...

The interesting thing is how our thoughts evolve over time. I suppose even a mind can be redecorated from time to time! I love the idea of a box of thoughts. That apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Ruth D~ said...

Beautiful gift. Wold it work if you kept paper nearby and added a thought of your own, now and then. You have such good ones.

meggie said...

That gift is such a thoughtful one. I love the idea of ideas in a box!

red dirt mule said...

oh Pauline - I love this. It reminds me of a prayer box a friend gave me long ago. A place to store all your prayers.

I love the metaphors and similes that you used in this piece. This is a paragraph or two that draws me in, satisfies me and leaves me with something to mull over myself!

I especially love the simile comparing the thoughts to looking into a mirror.

I'm a great collector of thoughts and ideas. I don't often believe my thought to be original. Only that each thought I have, whatever its origin(s) may be, will become uniquely my own. Much like writing and reading poetry: the ideas, emotions, experiences can be universal - but each writer/reader adds his/her own personality to the mix.

Beautiful piece, girlfriend!


Pauline said...

thanks intro- some thoughts are, especially the ones she chose for this box.

Paul - you said it better than I could.

Barbara - she is a marvelous writer!

Ruth - almost all my blogs are from jotted thoughts. I like the kickstart of random thoughts :)

Meggie - one never knows what subsequent thoughts will tag onto the initial one

RDM - I dodge that mirror as often as possible and am always amazed that that's how others must see me

Eleni said...

What a great gift! I need one of those!

Sky said...

such a creative gift. yup, we are all a part of where we have been, taking bits and pieces and coalescing them into our own whole.