Pictures Worth Words


Writing Thinking Saying Thinking
I’ve been thinking about writing, and thinking. I’ve also been thinking about thinking and writing, and if that sounds a bit like double talk, then it perhaps it is.

I haven’t been totally successful in this mind you, but I’ve been trying to isolate a thought that didn’t appear like neon words flying across some sort of cerebral cortex. In other words a thought that isn’t literary, using words, sentences, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a thought that was in paragraphs, but I’m open to that as well.

I suppose some researchers have called it the reptilian brain, assuming that it is simple, straight forward survival mode issues. I not so sure about that. I think perhaps that we don’t have to go back that far. All we have to do is imagine thoughts before writing, and then take one more step to thoughts before speech. And even then both can exist, they just are not codified, or standardized. Look at the example of a minor fender bender, the victim gets out of the car, rubs his head with both hands, gesturing wildly, fixes his gaze on the other driver and mutters/mumbles something. The other driver can’t hear anything specific, but can see the manifestation of certain thoughts in a very private language. Nothing completely agreed upon but mostly understood. Yet contrast that to being in a foreign country, with a completely foreign language, trying to understand what the waiter/hotel clerk/policeman is saying to you. Unless it is about the simple basic survival issues, you have no clue. They have thoughts, certainly. But their thoughts are in their language, not yours. If their thoughts were primal, such as ” I am hungry” that might be universal and you might be able to understand. Well, that’s a bit of the problem, isn’t it. What does the thought ‘I am hungry’ look like with no written letters, or audible words.

I’m thinking it looks like a visual trip to the refrigerator. Maybe a fast slide show of images, from my stomach, to my feet, to my walking to the refrigerator, opening the door to see what’s inside. Perhaps the slideshow imagines the chunk of cheese from yesterday the fast forwards to chewing and relaxing in the chair afterwards. This seems like a reasonable thought without words, either written or audible. So what are the thoughts when upon opening the door the cheese isn’t there because you ate it last night and forgot about it. Thoughts about thoughts can get a little complex. With words you can sort of rewind, look at it again/hear it again. Harder to back up images for a review, harder to have emphasis with images. Hmm, new thought, how to we make a image italic or bold for emphasis?

As I said, I have the desire to catch myself having a thought that wasn’t verbal/literate. I’m not sure I’ve been able. Now I feel like taking a nap…wait…was that itttt????…..

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