I find the way our brain functions fascinating. Well, at the least the way my brain functions as I can attest to how it works… most of the time. But anyway, today I am specifically referring to how our mind grasps at language and gives us the ability to communicate. I am going to preface this by stating that I am in no way an expert, I have taken only one class of psychology in my life (although I did 4.0 it), and I am only speaking from the little world that I choose to surround myself.
I have mentioned in an earlier post that I think in pictures. I am constantly translating the images I see in my mind to words, especially if I find the need to talk or write. This leads to a problem, at times, where the right word is not always forthcoming to my lips. The right word will be like a brief flash across the huge screen in my head, too fast to decipher. I know it is there but I am unable to grasp it immediately. Those times that I can vaguely see certain letters in the word, or when I know definitively that it exists, frustrate me to no end. It is truly trying to find a needle in a haystack.
I really didn’t fully understand that phrase until I started helping friends of mine unload the hay wagons to stack the bales in their barn. When you look at a field of hay, or even pictures, it is difficult to comprehend the sheer magnitude of material. The other night I assisted in unloading just 1.5 wagons of hay. That equals to around 400 bales of hay, weighing between 50-60 lbs each. I had to handle each one of those bales, as my friend had injured himself unloading the first round. He was still able to shift and unload the wagons themselves, giving me the arduous task of grabbing and stacking. I had to build stairs out of the hay bales, in order to carry them up higher (there is no loft or elevator in their barn). There is a rhythm to this job, as well as a thought process. You can’t just mindlessly stack the bales. You have to sometimes wedge them into spaces, crisscross the patterns, and lock them together, or else you end up with a loose configuration. If it isn’t stacked right, you can have a huge wall of these bales tip over and cause significant damage. In addition, we have to try to use up all available space because this is only the first cutting from one field. By the time the hay season is done, we will have the bales stacked to the rafters.
Words can be like this as well. There are so many of them, and so many that have the same meaning. There isn’t always a “right way” to express yourself, although some phrases more accurately depict the intent better. I find myself at times randomly searching through my books and the internet trying to find the turn of phrase that goes along with my thought process. As I can’t always verbalize the meaning I am looking for, this can be a difficult task. I get frustrated over my inability to express myself clearly. I have been accused, at times, of having my own language. I fear that is the accent attached to the translations of my thoughts. I don’t necessarily want to always feel that I am searching for the hidden word within my vocabulary. Most of the time the correct word comes bubbling to the top and I grab at it before it sinks into the quicksand of my mind. Have any of you ever experiences this frustration, and if so – do you have anything you do to combat it?