Baffled Brains

I’m fascinated by the way the brain works. You probably know that. A big part of the joy of writing is the process by which ideas arrive, mingle, connect, and become altered in the brain.

Yesterday, I moved the temporary kitchen cabinets and counter some fifteen or twenty feet to the dining area of the darn good room to make way for the permanent kitchen parts. (Last week when I wasn’t writing blog posts, I was staining cabinet bits. See? I always have a good excuse.) The temporary set-up is pretty much the same as it was before, just oriented differently in the room, and a bit less convenient as a result.

stainingMaximal use of minimal space + Maximal use of minimal materials = Maximal fun from minimal resources.

Our brains seem to be making a mountain out of this mole hill. I wanted a spoon but couldn’t figure out what I’d done with the silverware. Du-uh, it’s in the same drawer it’s been in for five years, on the right side of the counter. Mike was baffled by the fridge, and neither the contents of the fridge or the fridge itself moved.


Of course, we’re functioning just fine despite the confusion, but I think the extent of the confusion is bizarre.

Categories: Crafting

3 replies »

  1. The same sorts of things fascinate me, as well. Have you ever noticed how, for a split second, or less, our brain will believe something totally implausible? At least mine does. Yesterday it snowed hard all day long. It was a heavy, wet snow. As a result, branches were bending and leaning in all sorts of directions. I was backing out of our driveway and saw a branch with a big puff of white on its end. Was my initial thought, “Oh…the crape myrtle is bending in the snow”? Of course not. Right away I thought, “Oh, a cotton plant!” And for a second there I really thought it was a cotton plant, although I know I’ve never planted any cotton in our yard. Why did I even think that?

    In similar fashion, I’m fascinated with how our brain stores information. A friend will refer to someone but not know the person’s name. I’ll say, “I can’t think of it right now, but I know it starts with a G.” After working on it for a minute or two, I do come up with the correct name, and it does start with a G. Why is that? Do our brains really file things alphabetically?

    Similarly, I see words when I think of them. If I hear someone talking and they mention a word that can be spelled in multiple ways (are those homophones or homonyms?), if I picture the wrong spelling, I’ll go way off on the wrong tangent with the wrong definition. When I realize I’ve got it wrong, I’ve got to respell the word in my head and think through what they’ve said with the correct spelling.

    Or am I the only one who’s weird in this way?

  2. Believing something implausible…yep. My brain does that, too. I think of it as my brain jumping to conclusions or finishing my thoughts for me. It seems to jump ahead in anticipation rather than waiting for the actual thought to travel through the pipes. It can come up with some bizarre stuff!

    I also do the same “I think it starts with a G” thing. I never thought of that as my brain filing things alphabetically but rather my brain retrieving only part of the info, or grabbing it and dropping it.

    I do not, however, spell words I hear and think of them in terms of their spelling. No. Uh-uh. That’s weird.