Since I last posted we’ve entered winter (for us Australians), New York City has celebrated a modern record of going eleven days without a homicide (hopefully no one kills the streak), and I’m about a day away from being half way through a short story I’m getting increasingly excited to share. I’ve also managed to lose a kilo and a half thanks to my June Retune, which is nice. I did quite well for the first half of the week, sticking to the plan, feeling a bit tired, but mostly reaping the rewards that discipline brings. Then I had a beastial day at work and things dipped. I didn’t go too far off track but basically failed to tick some boxes on certain days. But that’s the way things go, shit happens and you have to be flexible. June continues and with it so shall my retune.
The other day at work I needed to get a password off my coworker who was away for the day. I went into her office to look for her notebook, where I knew she had written it down for me. I found it easily enough, but finding the password was a little more difficult as the notebook was filled with, well, notes. Notes were written on every page, at every angle, in different colours, some messy, some neat, some underlined, some easily understandable, some incoherent, some well structured paragraphs, some single words. As I flipped through page after page of this, searching for the one note I needed out of the hundreds it contained, it occurred to me that this would be as good a physical representation of my coworkers brain as any. It should be noted that this coworker of mine is one of the most organised and efficient people I know. She has a lot of varying responsibilities, a lot of people to answer to, and she does it all while making it look easy. It’s her superpower. So, while her notebook, to me, looked messy and hard to understand, clearly that was not the case. It’s just the way her brain looked, and realistically, with all the things fighting for our attention in our heads, were you to put it all down on a page, I think that’s what most people’s brains would look like. I also think were she to need to find a note from that notebook she could pinpoint it easily. It is afterall her brain.
Either way, it gave me the idea of writing down how my brain looks. I used to be a big note taker, both with work and with my creative endeavours. I had a range of notebooks (too many) and whenever I had an idea or heard something I knew I would need to know later it would find it’s way into one of these notebooks. However with the change to the digital world so to did my brain become more cybernated. First it was folders of word documents, each with a different ideas or notes. Then I upgraded to the notes app on my macbook. Then, with our ever increasing amount of devices and the need to have our information available and updating between all of them in real time, it changed to Dropbox. Now my brain has been upgraded to a combination of Google Drive and Evernote.
For those of you who perhaps don’t know Google Drive is a cloud based storage application that allows you to access and edit all your documents online, and Evernote is a well tailored note taking application that works on, and updates between, most devices. Now when I have a note, or come across some bit of information I like it goes into one of the many notes in one of the many subfolders I have on my Evernote. I usually bash it into my phone and then study the note later on my laptop when I have more time. Likewise all development of ideas, writing, and documents find their way into the ever increasing amount of folders on my google drive. Easily the best thing about these digital format is the accessibility. I can always check my notes on my phone or laptop, or if I leave my devices at home, other people’s phone and laptops with the right internet connection. Where a physical notepad can only ever exist in one place in space at one point in time. However the argument can also be made that you don’t need an internet connection to read a notepad; in other words my brain isn’t accessible without an internet connection (is there some kind of symbolism there? Nah, probably not).
Anyway, that’s what my brain looks like, what does yours?
I’ll finish with two cool things from the internet that crossed my path recently.
First is this photo…
…which speaks for itself (or at least the text overlaid on it does).
Second is this painting, which was painted by Dutch wildlife artist Esther van Hulsen…
….using the ink from a ninety five year old fossil of that exact prehistoric octopus. What a beautiful combination of natural history and art. You can read more about it here.
If your brain looks like the inked painting of a ninety five year old octopus then you may just be my favourite person.