Tuesday, November 28, 2017


The mind, to coin a phrase, has a mind of its own. After all these years, you'd have thought it would not make things so hard for me, but it persists. I'm old enough now, and experienced enough, to take something like participation in a public panel discussion in stride.

But no. Weeks ahead, my mind starts to plan what I need to say--and how to say it. Weeks ahead, it demands that I know absolutely everything about the topic, much more than I'll ever need. I know this. I watch my mind play its tricks on me, and I succumb. I spend needless hours with the books and on the Internet; well, not needless, no, it's good to be prepared. I hate those panels where no one is prepared and everyone wings it. Not needless, then, but certainly excessive.

And then... even after the event, when things have gone off smoothly and the panel has been largely a success, my mind wakes me up in the middle of the night and demands that I review exactly what I said, what I might have said, what I should have said, what I could have said better... Eventually I chose to shut it down with a sleeping pill! Well, half a sleeping pill. And before too long my mind surrendered and dropped off into a welcome sleep.

I didn't wake until after seven o'clock this morning--a rarity, for me.

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