Thursday, August 14, 2008

Physical Expression of Mental States

I'm sure that this has some psychological terminology, but I'm not sure what it would be called, so I'm calling it a physical expression of a mental state. Of the people that I have seen where I could tie in something that they do to a mental state, it's been one of cleaning or throwing away things. One of my former managers had this need to throw things away when things were stressful, or when the back room got so where she couldn't stand to be back there. I had to go dumpster diving many times to get things that I wanted. She threw away my salt and pepper shakers that I brought for my lunches. Frustrated me no end.

My grandmother has a similar thing. I say jokingly that she believes that the more she gives away, the closer she'll get to Heaven. And while I'm sure that some of that has to do with the attention and pleasure she gets for giving things to people (ADD runs in the family), I think that also it is a way of cleaning out her mind by cleaning the physical space in which she lives.

And honestly, I think that whatever chemical states an ADD person has inside their head, it is somewhat similar to other states, like OCD, where physical actions often mirror a mental state. Now, I have no problem with the space I live in, namely my room, for that can stay messy or not, and it won't get cleaned till I've had enough from trying to find my fingernail clippers, or some such item. But at work, I do feel that the chaos that is created by customers (and working in retail will naturally cause that chaos, it is pleasing to provide a bit of order to the areas that I work in, namely the children's section, by creating a display, or deep cleaning something, so that everything is amazingly organized. I just have to delude myself from the fact that it might not stay that way for too long.

And on a related note, the displays that please me most are ones that are robust in color, energetic in motion, and catching to the eye. I think that we all must think in these ways, or paintings by Van Gogh would mean nothing, and the color red would be just another light when you come to an intersection. The Jungian types, or symbols (which come from Plato's forms) prove that those colors, those ways of thinking, are embedded into our sub-conscious. Thus soft blues and greens are soothing (such as the ones I use for my myspace page), and deep and rich colors like purple are meant to cause awe and admiration (although purple also had another use in the past, as a color for sickliness (an ironic use, since purple has always been a color for royalty.)

I think that the two ideas are related, because the physical world, whether sitting in a doctors office and being soothed by the colors and the atmosphere of the room, or cleaning a place in order to calm the mind, must be brought to order by our own minds. And while medications will help us in times when nothing can soothe us, a clean room, or a soft hue, or music (which I didn't go into), will do a lot toward softening the cahos in our minds. Finally, I also think that writing like this also does that, to bring order to my mind when thoughts are swimming about. This is an easel which words are the paint, to use a metaphor. It's why I so strongly believe in everyone having a journal, especially kids. The $2.99 journals at Borders right now are among the greatest gifts that anyone can give a child.

No comments:

Post a Comment