Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The Reverie Tree

There's a song in Jethro Tull's Songs From the Wood that talks about someone sitting in the "reverie tree."

I think we all have one of those. It's the place where we feel most at peace. 

It's different for everyone, I'm sure, but for me, it's when I'm totally absorbed in something. It's called "flow state" now.

That defines just about every peaceful moment I have. Meditation. Being with Eli 19.10. Writing. Even films, at times. Anything that totally concentrates me. 

One of the unique aspects of this, for me, is that I can get into this state with people. With Eli, it's pretty much instant, and almost always has been. Also, one of the reasons that therapy has done so much for me is that I get into flow state with my therapist. It took about three years, but it happens on a pretty regular basis now, and it makes it possible for me to reflect on things I couldn't face otherwise. 

I'm guessing this is different for extroverts, and that they'd have a very different reverie tree than I do. 

I was driving today (which, like everyone, is one of the places I get ideas), and I suddenly thought about arcades. 

Then about three realizations hit me at once. 

The first was that I always felt comfortable in arcades, even though it was a social situation. I met friends there all the time, but I never had that oppressive awkwardness that I felt in many other situations. 

I think it was because when I played arcade games, I definitely got into flow state. So it wasn't all social interaction. I'd play a game, talk, play again. So even though I was around a lot of people, most of whom I didn't know, I never locked up. 

In contrast, in situations that are entirely social and involve lots of people, I don't have that little bit of restoration, so my battery drains incredibly quickly. I really struggle in those situations. 

Hmm, I was supposed to go from first to second to third. Okay, "many" realizations, not three. 

The last thing I thought of was that I need to create that little buffer for myself. in those situations It could be a person, or an activity, or something. But I can't sit somewhere and try to drift in and out of conversations. 

In that situation, I'm definitely the Titanic.

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