In nature, I can observe and remain quiet for hours. But sometimes, my mind goes on hamster-wheel, and my brain doesn't shut off. I go into deep thought about too many things at once and I can't parce out the one idea that would help me figure out what I actually want to say. For instance, for a large part of the writing of this essay, I thought it was about distractions. I was distracted by the very idea of distraction. I have great talent for connecting the jagged hogbacks in the distance with the rise and fall of my own emotions, the constant hesitation, the inability to step firmly in one place and stay there. The thoughts in my head are often debates: I am debating what I should say, how I should react, Who I should be, who I AM.
Obsession has always come easily to me. You know how, when a cat sees the flick of a feather, he can't resist the crouch and leap? Or when you come home, and the dog greets you, and her paws are on your chest, tongue trying to slobber you up because she missed you so much? That's what I have: zeroing in capababilities, the need to find a single object and research the hell out of it, so much, in fact, that I never want to think about it again. And currently, my living situation is like that: a constant concentration on copywriting and a mandatory two-hour block of writing every day (which doesn't happen every day). These are rules that I create for myself in an attempt to avoid getting too involved in just one area of my life and forgetting about the rest.
If I don't make rules then I'll fall into the trap of over-concentration, where I focus on one supposedly brilliant idea and turn it over and over, searching for more brilliance. Eventually I realize I need to step outside of this magnified focus in order to see what I'm really looking for. (This is much how, if you are trying to remember a person's name and you just close your eyes and stop trying so hard, it sometimes comes to you.) Do you have a dangerous habit of over-concentration? It seems strange to consider it a bad thing, but if you think about it, the most passionate people are often the ones to get themselves killed. The guy from Into the Wild, the American poet Anne Sexton, and Marie Curie who died from her experiments with radiation, just to name a few. Passion is such a powerful emotion that logic seems to just disappear in its midst. Some people get stuck and are never capable of seeing any of the hundreds of other possibilities.
When I saw the snake and recognized the rattle, I walked ten feet away, took some pictures, and started throwing rocks to scare it off. I didn't want another person, concentrating on their own ideas or music or conversation, to get bit just for thinking.