Originally posted April 2018
I was watching a TV program recently in which one of the characters said “No one knows what it’s like inside my head!” Interesting. It occurs to me that, like a lot of other bloggers, this blog may be an attempt to articulate some of what it’s like inside my head. That, however, would not be accurate since the majority of my writing has been around heavy intellectual themes. But then I walked into Johnson’s!
Johnson’s Art Gallery is found in Madrid, New Mexico along the Turquoise Trail. On a recent trip, my wife and I stopped in. If you look closely at the picture above, you will get a hint. Some beautiful painting left unguarded. A random pot. Cactus here, sagebrush there. Then we went inside!
We were met with random boxes of unfiled business papers, piles of books and photographs, all completely unorganized. For people who like organization, it is stressful. For me, I felt at home.
One of the owners commented “We’re trying to get organized but then we’ve been trying to get organized for ten years”. I came upon some beautiful photography of the Southwest, some wonderful paintings, even some old books and toys. But keep in mind that this was all quite random. In the midst of my wanderings, I chatted with one of the store clerks (or was he the owner?) about the Redsox.
When I went to make my purchases, one of the store people pointed to an elderly lady walking in with a cane and was told “She’ll take care of you.” This was Ms. Johnson herself. She had to poke around amidst a pile of papers to find her sales book. Next she had to search to find a pen. Next she was unsure of the cost. Then together we processed my payment through her credit processor. She thanked me for helping as we commiserated about modern technology. Then she again had to poke around to find a bag.
As I left, I thanked them all and said “This place has character! Don’t ever change!”
Then I had an epiphany. “That’s exactly how it is inside my head!” Chaos. Disorganization. Definitely not a business sense. And yet the unexpected treasure found in a corner. Interesting ideas floating amidst random busywork. Interesting bits of information having nothing to do with anything in particular yet exciting to discover. Poor attention to detail. Very random yet very creative. Down to earth. Prone to oversights and other types of mistakes. (For example, later that day we could not stay at our favorite hot springs spa because I had booked the wrong date!)
Somehow it was very comforting to have a metaphor for my own consciousness and it was reassuring that, on balance, that metaphor was a pleasant place to be.
Update September 2023
If anything, the clutter inside my head is similar to the clutter in my garage. It has only grown but, my, there sure is some interesting stuff out there! When I came across this picture of Johnson’s Art Gallery, I felt a warm glow and the reassurance that my cluttered brain is still wonderfully cluttered.
Reflection: Do you have a metaphor for what it’s like inside your head?