Taxonomy of My Mind


When I have a combination of several thoughts and feelings at one time or rather over a shortish period of time, I like to bunch them together and classify them. I used to give each bunch a serial number but recently I started giving them names that I – hopefully, I mean, that was  the intention – wouldn’t forget.

One bunch is the blend of feelings and thoughts I get when I go into a busy shop sometimes, like a supermarket or a department store. I suddenly have to take in a lot of visual information and deal with sounds and smells and colours and actually it is just a bit too much for me at times. I don’t exactly panic, but I feel uneasy and tense and my head starts to go a bit swimmy. I immediately think, “I mustn’t faint / I feel fine / There’s nothing dangerous can happen here” etc., and sometimes I feel that people are looking at me and then it gets worse and I feel embarrassed, kind of guilty and I then I tell myself that I mustn’t be silly, everything’s going to be OK”. It’s all a bit stressful. I call this bunch of feelings and thoughts Declining Marginal Returns.


Another bunch is when I’ve been sitting for a long time, absorbed in a book, and I suddenly remember I have something important to do. I tell myself I’ll just finish this chapter then I’ll get down to it. Ah, but what if I forget? I’d better do it rightaway. No, don’t be silly, I can finish this page, at least. OK, but I’ll just make a note of it. I don’t need to make a note of it, I’m bound to remember. So I go back to my book and of course I can’t concentrate so I get up to make a note of it but then I realize that I’ve forgotten what it was that I was going to make a note about, so I feel angry with myself and I usually blame my book, rather than myself. This bunch I call Anaximander says Hi to Joseph Lamont.


Here’s another bunch. I’m walking down the street and I see somebody I know a little and he knows me but we aren’t friends or anything. I may not even know his name but maybe he’s a neighbor or something and we’re walking towards each other and I’m thinking, “I’ll say Good Morning”. So I avert my gaze, planning to look up just at the last minute with a tiny smile, catch his eye and say my phrase. Then I see that he’s doing the same thing but doesn’t look up when he should so I’m left with the aborted smile and the greeting in my mouth and I wonder what he’s thinking about me. This is called The Twenty-Four Parganas.


Another bunch is that combination that happens when I’m in a group of people, sitting still and feeling fidgety and everybody is talking at cross purposes and I want to interrupt and say “No, actually, she doesn’t mean that” and “No, that’s not what he said” or “You’ve misunderstood his argument” or “Can’t you see that you’re both saying the same thing?” I feel invisible because nobody is paying much attention to me because they all think I’m a bit strange, anyway. But I feel I’m a vital kingpin; I’m the only one able to understand what these people are on about; if it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t be communicating at all. It’s a huge pressure on me and the worst part is that I have to keep still and be quiet, not get angry or storm out. I call this Self-interest Properly Understood.

David Hockney Christmas screensaver

There’s another set called Me Love You Long Time, and a new one I’m just coming to terms with called Carte des Assemblages des Triangles.

The taxonomy of the confluences of the workings of my mind will keep me going for a while.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mercy on September 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    How do you choose the names of your classified thoughts?


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