Sometimes a provocative thought will permeate my ever present brain-fog and I’m like, “Whoa, really?” Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time it’s not anything fun like balloon sex or whatever, it’s just atmospheric, or interesting, or curious, or any other category of delightful thought process—and it’s akin to smelling the lilac trees under the window of your fourth-grade classroom. In other words, it evokes a time long gone.
See, I’m a mom. Not only that, but a working mom with an infant in the early-toddling stages. Many factors are implicit in fostering provocative thoughts, but the two major ones are 1) living a life not devoid of the types of things that bring them on, and 2) having the space in my brain to complete much more than the basic tasks necessary for survival.
This sounds so depressing; it’s not, really. In stark contrast to the vast network of “mommy bloggers” on our shared Internet, I prefer to not talk much about that aspect of my life. I have also, perhaps unfortunately, developed an almost apologetic attitude regarding the topic. Most of my friends don’t have kids, and many of them are single. A lot of single and childless women my age are subjected to a tirade of people expecting them to be wives and mothers. I, on the other hand, have always run with a gaggle of nonconformists, so I’m the lone wolf in my nuclear life. Regardless, in most major spheres of life, I am fulfilled. It’s the lesser ones, the danger-zone areas that have been neglected. And just like dessert, you shouldn’t have too many Motley Crue pages in your biography—but life just ain’t worth living if you can’t have any at all.
So, yeah, I don’t have a lot of time for my past favorite hobbies like knitting, drinking, and boring my friends by issuing soliloquies on whatever the fuck I’m obsessed with at the moment. These have been replaced by babbling at a one-year-old to see if she understands my mimicry of her “talk,” brewing endless amounts of coffee, and barely staying on top of the household chores. Life is fast and furious, I know, but I still have the same strangely-wired brain, and weirdness never goes away, folks. It only lies in wait while I describe myself, over coffee, as having a “rich inner life.”
So when the weirdness deigns to stir like a sleeping dragon and let itself be know at the most inane times—say, while you’re loading the dishwasher—it can really be startling, because it’s tough to unpack why a certain angle of the light made you think about Sunday mornings and how it’s so sad the dust mites always get swept up and then you start fantasizing about having a polite conversation with the Rock (Dwayne?) over Earl Grey. Then it starts getting heavy: the concept of Yin/Yang is literally true, and we are all sucking energy from the universe whenever we take a bite of any kind of food that is edible and allows humans to exist. We’re killing plants, animals, and even air. Then it gets dark: is this why I’m always so very tempted to stick my hand in the blender every time I make a delicious smoothie? Am I subconsciously trying to atone for the sin of taking LIFE?
These aren’t exactly provocative thoughts, you say? How about you shove it and come see me at 3am when my eyelids are so wide open they squeak cleanly, like ALL the cartoon windshield wipers of the world have been commandeered by ALL the roadside Vietnam vets, and I am actually worrying about whether or not we (as a general species) have evolved (genetically, socially, scientifically, and technologically) way too fast over the last century. Like, exponentially fast, like twenty tattered mattresses precariously stacked on top of one another, all resting on an open safety pin fast.
There is nowhere to take this stuff, and the millions of other thoughts I have personally thought are in the same GD Noah’s Ark—ain’t going nowhere. Not only that, but I am a mere drop of delusional water in the ocean of person-notions, so who even knows how many insane and/or inane opinions and reflections are clouding everything.
So maybe a thought is provocative when it provokes me. Is what I got out of writing this.