Geography of the Mind

Seedlings of thought...

In nonconcrete life, one attribute of lasting value we have to offer others is planting seedlings of thought that grow to become thriving shoots. Usually we are unaware that we are doing so. When seedlings mature to cross-pollinate more thought, they become  implanted in ways we didn't conceive of in our first abstraction. Whether planted in neatly irrigated rows or willy nilly in the wild, ideas start as ephemeral wisps that advance into concepts to become full blown ideas. Although some ideas do wither and die while others fertilize and grow, the real importance is thinking, journeying through the mind to uncover what has potential for harvesting.

Thoughts and ideas are to be shared, in the raw and fully formed. A good conversation is an exchange that generates growth in us and others. The medium doesn't necessarily matter. Whether it is face-to-face, verbal or in writing, occurs over a long period of time or in a matter of minutes, is usually irrelevant. It might arise in something seemingly obscure as a random exchange or an email on another subject but during that discourse one little line, perhaps only an aside to the originator, may create a small kernel that grows into a full grown vision for the recipient. It's significance is in reciprocation, since what others offer us, tills a rotation of crops of intellect.

Our only true legacy is how we influence others and how we use that capability and in turn how we are influenced by the ideas of others. Most often we're unaware of the sway we have with individuals or groups, we tend to minimize it, since we're looking from the inside out. Our connections do not have to be far and wide, well known or important people. Rather the opposite is true, it's the soil that keeps everyday life and people going. If it were not for exchanges I have with others, who spark ideas in me, life would lack the creativity that keeps it from being boring. They become roads in my head that draw maps to traverse terrain I might not have. They nourish me more than material gifts and my hopeful ambition is to return them.


  1. I spent a little while last night and most of today thinking about something I hadn't thought much about in a long time...my mind was on a coffee shop in Cooperstown, NY, back in the early '80s. I think you had to step up to go through the door. I also think it was part of a drug store or maybe next to one, but I know it had a lunch-counter place where the locals eyeballed my friend and I as we sat eating breakfast and waiting for the Baseball Hall of Fame to open. Who knew it wasn't open 24 hours a day? I surely didn't, back then. I haven't been back in probably 20 years but I know the place was on Main Street, probably half a block west of the BBHOF.

    I'm not sure how discussions of politics and music can lead to almost impossible coincidences like this...or actually, even the near-miss chances of such things. But I think it's the universe talking. This kind of stuff happens all the time and I love it when I notice it, though I can't say I ever get used to it.

    I'm all for free will, if someone can show me some evidence. Until then, I sip coffee in 1984 and get stared at a lot and wonder. :)

    Great post, JR. I'm with you; I like the thoughts more than money. They're more valuable, fiat or not.

  2. They say "there are no coincidences" and this falls into that category I'm thinking. I'm fairly certain that you were in the same coffee shop my cousin owns. Actually at the time it had been bought by my uncle and run by my aunt in the late 70s with the intention for one of my other cousins to take it over. She did and later decided to become an insurance agent and it fell into her brothers lap. He still owns it but doesn't run it any more.

    This reminded me of a YouTube video I commented on about 4 years ago of someone who took a trip back to Bermuda, where they had grown up, around the same time I did. A few years ago I received an email from a guy who had seen my comment, was a friend of my parents, who still owned a Bermuda cedar desk my father had built and sold him. (My dad, besides being a civil engineer, built very fine one-of-a-kind furniture pieces...I have one as does every one in my family.) My mother remembered the guy and had a long phone conversation with him...