When the mind wanders, it errs: It goes astray and on its way it stumbles on mistakes. Or are they mistakes? Could they be mischievous insights that could kindle and sustain imagination? How? By looking at them from a different perspective. Turning them upside down and inside out.
Loose strings of creative thought? The mind’s journey in time, space and knowledge.
The mind is always engaged. The mind wanders. The mind is invited to score the sky as we look out the window and goes on marvellous journeys as we catch butterflies.
“Through mind-wandering, we invent tell stories, expand our mental horizons. Mind-wandering underwrites creativity.” (Corballis, M. 2015)
What does the brain do when the mind wanders? Does it wonder? Does it create visions? Does it tie loose ends and open new possibilities? Is it at its most creative?
This short essay wants to investigate the journey the mind takes when being itself, following a natural path and drifting towards currents of thoughts that lead beyond the moment.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” (Tolkien JRR, 1954)
Mind wandering may thread loose strings of creative thought to unsolved problems and unanswered questions. The past, present and the future work along each other creating infinite possibilities and maybe the mind in these moments is at rest, dynamic rest.
Some suggest meditation as a way to settle the mind and find peace at last. But maybe the mind is happiest and fulfilled when travelling in time and space, it is the individual who judges the calm or the storm. The mind is itself. Should it be tamed or listened to?