Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Thinking Place

Growing up, we had a swing in a big tree in the backyard. I don't remember when Daddy strung it up with rope and a sturdy wooden seat, but very early on it became the best place I could find to do my serious thinking.

This Thinking Place was a real lifesaver from the time I was maybe 10 to 14-years-old. There seemed to be a lot to sort out during those years, and mindless swinging under a big old tree helped clarify things.

The knottiest problems couldn't be "swung out," though. They had to be twisted out - sitting in the swing and twisting round and round until it couldn't twist any more, then letting it untwist until I was dizzy. Things were clearer after a good "twist."

I wish I could find a good grown-up Thinking Place, some place that could work as well as our backyard swing all those years ago. The size of the problems are relative - a big problem at 12 is just as enormous as a big problem at 58. The difference is that I don't have any place to twist those problems up and dizzy them out again.

A good Thinking Place is hard to find these days.

7 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

Boy, you are so right Mary. A good thinking place IS hard to find nowadays. And...that is the perfect thinking place, isn't it? I love your swing. I believe I could do some GREAT thinking there too. ~Joy xo

Liz said...

This however is not wonderful or perfect. Come on, mary, I'm sure there must be a thinking place somewhere in NY. That marvellous library? Sitting on the ferry going back and for? Lying on the grass in central park watching the clouds go by?

I hope you find somewhere.

And, hey, you thought abou a new Bailey to talk to?

MaryB said...

Joy - I do miss that swing. Sorted out lots of growing up issues for me, going back and forth and twisting around. (Love your picture, BTW!)

Liz - Not really. I've found nothing as effective as that swing. NYC and Atlanta have lots of wonderful places but nothing as comfortable and private as my childhood backyard. Sometimes walking helps, if I can really tune everything else out, but I do long for a good swing sometimes. And, no, I have no plans to get a new dog-friend right now. I travel so much and work long hours - it just wouldn't be fair to a new friend. I'll have to wait until I move back to Atlanta someday. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

We had a lot of "good" thinking places on South Moore . We also did a lot of damage on swing sets and slides. We had an old Coca Cola drink box that served as a ship , Tank ,airplane, you name it . That was my favorite place to go sort out the problems of the day. What problems?? We really had it good.
JMB

MaryB said...

Exactly, Jay! I loved our whirly-gig and that weird twirling swing-thing in Marcia's backyard. Yeah, no real problems, though some of them seemed enormous at the time. A life lesson, I suppose, as that's the way of most big problems. Perspective. (And a good swing!)

chux said...

I can imagine you swinging and twisting on your swing. I know what you mean, you'd just sit there thinking, perhaps kicking the ground a little.

I hope you can find yourself a little spot or maybe a grown ups swing to help clear your head.

jomoore said...

I was thinking about this just the other day - if (when) I get my dream house by the sea, the one with the lovely garden, I'll definitely have a swing. For now, I just have to sneak over to the park when no-one's looking!