First, let me say this Blog has nothing to do with horses….not much anyway. Nor does it have to do with narrow canal boats….well, maybe a little. I am going to Blog about my brain….how it works, or doesn’t as the case may be. Don’t ask me what the affliction may be. I’ve had it all my life. Some of it has to do with an attention deficit. Every 3 seconds my mind switches subjects. I’ll walk away from this Bog a hundred times, doing this and that, before I return to it. I mix things up and interpret data in peculiar ways. My ridiculously furtive imagination invents facts and turns real facts into flights of fancy. Am I a dreamer? I suppose. Who knows? All I can say is I’m not unique.
Now, before all you experts out there start labelling me as having ADD or being dyslexic or with some other brain disorder, let me be blunt. Shut it. I was once diagnosed by 7 different experts regarding my behaviour. Took them a week to come up with a profile of yours truly. The result? They could have kept me around for 6 months to find the right medicated cocktail to ‘balance’ me, but the head psychiatrist said I was extremely creative with an IQ of 148 and something in me needs the highs and lows to function fully and, well, creatively. If I weren’t so damned lazy, who knows what I could accomplish. My best friend says it’s not laziness, just boredom and lack of stimulation.
I guess she has a point. I’m writing my 3rd book and have trouble focusing. Not that I’m not motivated and I have stretches of writing that last for hours. But I also have about 20 different TV series on the go from Netflix and Amazon Prime at the moment and jump from one to the other then I go back to writing. My mind mixes up series and I invent new ones where Crystal Meth producers are serial killer killers who spy for an agency known as K2. Among these activities are random conversations with marina neighbours and playing my guitars or banjo and reading a page or two from one of the 14 books I have on the go. You see what I mean. I am absolutely knackered by the end of the day. Living in my mind is an exhausting experience.
My brain slow chews. I read like I talk, even slower. I go back over paragraphs either to figure out what they mean or because my mind wandered when I was reading something that caught my imagination and I run with it. I can be 3 or 4 pages ahead before I realize that I’m not absorbing anything. In conversation, I only speak if I really know the subject and even then I wonder if I’m mixing up facts, making them up or it’s a different subject I’m thinking about altogether. Can’t be too careful. I know I’m not unique. I think my generation was subject to so many mind experiments (not to mention ingested hallucinogenic substances) that came in the form of food additives, aerosol sprays and so on. There I go again. More of us are loose canons than we care to admit, even the most successful and stable of us. The child in us.
I really worried when we moved from a house to a boat. You really have to have your wits about you and focus intently. I can do it but at a cost. I worry all the time I’ll grab the wrong instrument. I mean to put the boat into forward and end up in reverse. But I do recover quickly and am happy to report that not much has gone wrong. If you are a fellow boater reading this, just stay clear when you see us coming. Fortunately, we are moored in a marina now and probably won’t be cruising until next Spring. Set your calendars now. I am very careful with the gas on the boat and do everything slowly, talking to myself as I go to make sure all goes according to plan. So far so good.
And now for the horses. This story epitomizes the way this strange mind of mine works. I am a big fan of the Canadian music group Cowboy Junkies. In 1990 they released an album titled, ‘The Caution Horses’. For over a decade I tried to figure out what kind of horse that was….a caution horse. I just let it play in my brain, never thinking to look it up on the internet. I knew there had to be some hidden meaning here but couldn’t figure it out. Must be an inner band thing. The cover offered no clue, just a group of people walking past what looks like the Sharon Temple north of Toronto. What has it to do with horses?
Then one day, a dozen years or so later, I was following a trailer on the road that contained horses. Written on the back of the trailer were the words ‘Caution Horses’. Ah, I thought, look, Cowboy Junkies fans. Maybe they were caution horses on board. They looked ordinary from what I could see, black tails, brown bodies. Couldn’t see all of them, being in a trailer. Maybe it has to do with the head or the legs? I looked at the sign once again. ‘Caution’ printed on one door and ‘Caution’ on the other. Then it hit me….oh, caution, there are horses on board. Don’t get too close. Duh.
I laughed out loud. I was on my own. I laugh out loud about myself in such moments even when I’m not alone. My best friend asks, ‘What are you laughing at?” Then she adds (because she knows me now), “Oh, laughing at yourself again are you?” I’ve given up telling her what I’m laughing at myself about because she just says, “That’s not funny” if I do. We do not have the same sense of humour. I am a Goon Show, Monty Python type of person. My best friend is not. She is a realist. I’m just mad….as in crazy. No medication is going to change that.
As I finished that last paragraph, I thought, why not look up the album title and band to see what I can learn. Turns out they did take the album cover photo at Sharon Temple where they also recorded the album. The people walking by are the band. Never knew. But that’s because my brain would rather imagine stuff than know the facts. And….no explanation could be found as to the meaning. No horses appear on the cover. If you know, don’t tell me. It would spoil everything.