Thursday, June 24, 2010
Allen Ginsberg said, “First thought, best thought.” I have been keeping a mental list of some of my ‘first thoughts’ the last few days and I think I disagree. A sampling: I think we should have McDonald’s for dinner; I am leaving; stop talking, you haven’t said anything interesting since before lunch; this isn’t worth it; it matters what that woman who I have never talked to thinks of me, my sweaty gym clothes and my baby who is licking the handle of the cart at Safeway; the toys and whatnot covering the floor make my home inhospitable; my husband can’t really find me attractive; I have no business having a dream; I can’t go a step further.
On many occasions as a writing teacher, I have espoused Mr. Ginsberg’s view with enthusiasm, arms flapping up and down for emphasis. There is something real and best about writing with abandon. But chewing on toxic thoughts is bad for my health. I recently heard a dentist lecture on the link between oral hygiene and heart health. I thought her research was interesting, but did not see the spiritual parallel. The things that are in my mind and in my mouth affect the flow of life-giving blood through that muscle in my chest.
And so I ask for new and better thoughts to replace the ugly, mean ones. Thoughts that are worth thinking and sharing. Thoughts drug out of my tent and into the bright sunlight that help me see and burns away the ominous clouds of doubt, thick with heavy rain.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2