Blowhard, Esq. writes:
Thinking, when you first try it, is very difficult. I had never tried to think before, seriously, I mean, and I didn’t quite know how to go about the process. Most people, under ordinary circumstances, living with their families, attending school, getting jobs, don’t get around to thinking until their early twenties — if then. Sometimes they are married and have two or three children before they begin to think abou their lives. I have talked to men who told me that they never did any serious thinking about themselves until their mid-thirties. Thinking, as opposed to making rather superficial distinctions and decisions is, apparently, unnecessary for everyday life. Most people simply go along with their lives, accepting what happens to them, attributing to good and back luck whatever fortune or plight comes their way.
But as I sat there alone, very alone, in the deserted and empty prison, with my mind alert for options — aware that there were options for the first time in my life — my mind reeled as I tried to get my thoughts into some kind of order. I was untrained in formal logic, and my mind kept going off on tangents. The experience was heady, exciting, bewildering, and I had to make a determined effort of will to prevent myself from being distracted by a buzzing fly, or even from contemplating the beauty of the swirling red-brown-ocherous pattern on a knot of manzanita root. It is much easier to slip into a daydream than it is to think.
Hours passed. But I was unaware of time as I tried to think things out. My thoughts were not profound, nor did they involve philosophy in any way. It was merely straight thinking, if that is the name for what I was doing, exploring ideas and possibilities in an effort to forge a new identity for myself. I was not concerned with any overall life plan, either for the immediate future or for the months and years ahead of me. The world itself would take care of my future…