Tangible events are rarer in old age. We contemplate, we wait for the unspoken, we doze. If action filled our earlier years we may be forced to find quieter alternatives later on. Are we adaptable enough for this?
How about: thinking? In youth, thought seemed as natural as breathing, hardly worth thinking about. A jeu de mots! Are we on our way? Not really.
Purposeful thinking is hard. Quite distinct from daydreaming. It requires a subject. With possibilities. With blank spots not yet filled in. Marked out in logical steps.
Let the subject be: thinking! A good choice, offering infinite possibilities. But should we first define thought? That is, apply our mind to it, not Google it. Immediately difficulties are apparent. Thought seems to be a dynamic sequence. But of what? Images? Spoken words? Written words? Music? Mathematical statements? All these things and more?
Obviously, thought – with all its implications – is too enormous for a retired journalist (A shallow profession in many people’s view.) who has reluctantly put aside ski-ing and long-distance swimming. Understanding thought may be enough.
We lurch forward. We think to arrive at a conclusion – ie, information that may benefit us. Ironically the conclusion must come first, it is the target we aim at. With the bow, arrow and force applied to the bowstring. What might the first step be? A forest of signposts arise. Let’s choose To History. Have I ever thought successfully?
I have. I read a book so vivid, so comprehensive, so important I felt honour-bound to arrive at its essence and to convey this to others. My debt to the author. The book’s essence was not stated; articulating it was up to me. Hard abstract work conducted in the vault of my mind.
Today, I faced my next blog post.