12 Aug 2010

Hestia considers...... a man's mind

Tartarus brought me a cup of tea in bed the other morning. As I sat in bed sipping quietly, Tertarus gave a long sigh and stared out of the window.

'That's a good cup of tea,' he said to himself, his gaze drifting to the summit of Barone Hill, watching it it sink in and out of the low, drizzly cloud.

Tartarus sat back on the bed, resting his head against the headboard and sipped again.

I wondered what he was thinking about, so I asked:  'What are you thinking about? Are you not happy?'

Tartarus groaned and plonked his tea mug down on the bedside cabinet.

'What is WITH you?  Why do you always assume that I'm THINKING  about something deep and meaningful - like being HAPPY?!'

I blinked.  'Because I'm always thinking about something, and it's usually about getting myself happy.' I ventured.

'Sometimes....sometimes, inside my head is like this....'  he motions a flat line like a redundant heart monitor with his hand.

Then, showing a sudden flash of insight, he added: 'Inside YOUR head, it's like this,' and he changed the flat line motion  to a sine wave that undulated wildly like a growing tsunami.

'Basically, when I'm looking out the window and saying that my tea is nice.....all I'm thinking that my tea is nice and am looking out the window.'

I took another sip of my tea.

'Right.  So let's get this straight.  Most of the time, you're like 'dddaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah' I make the flat line motion and drawl a single note monotonous tone.  'Empty head?'

Tertarus nodded vigorously.  'Yep.  AND, when I'm doing something, I'm only thinking about the thing that I'm doing, NOTHING ELSE. When I'm washing the dishes, I'm washing the dishes and that's ALL'

My GOD, this is revolutionary, I thought.  I could trade Tartarus in for an Irish Wolfhound and be none the worse off.  Apart from the tea in bed, obviously.

But after a moment or two' deliberation, I felt massively jealous.  I'd pretty much give my right arm to be as single-pointed and focused as he is - it's what Buddhists' spend their lives aspiring to.  I have a mind that jumps around like a box of fleas.

Tartarus stands looking at me with his mug of tea, giving me The Look.

'Right now, I queried, you're looking at me and you're thinking ............?'

'I'm just standing here thinking nothing.  I'm just daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' he motions the flat line.

'So you're not standing there thinking that I'm a bit of a disappointment, or you'd rather be out on your bike, or....it's just.........flat line?'

Tartarus nodded happily and took my tea mug.  'See you downstairs.'

Good Lord.  I might be living with a Buddha.  Or a dog.  God or Dog.  One's just a backwards version of the other....


  1. My brain is flatlining today but I think that's called a hangover. Mr TNMA has an uncanny ability to be focused, to switch off and not let stupid stuff bother him whereas my mind is in a constant turmoil. I've asked for lessons but I'm still waiting for him to uncover the secret of zen living!

  2. Mrs TNMA - I honestly think our brains are wired differently ;-)

    Maybe we need to sit cross-legged on the floor and contemplate the workings of the internal combustion engine....

    Ali x

  3. Matthew is similar to Tertarus. No mess in his mind. He decides what is the right thing to do. Does the thing being totally focussed on it, and then when he has done it forgets it.

    I said the other week I was relieved to see he was thinking about us getting married too as he had mentioned it three times to me. Turns out he had thought about it three times.

  4. I've had almost (without the tea element) this EXACT conversation before. I really do think men are simple, in the nicest possible way, that is.



  5. *considered thought churns around inside head*

    D'you think that men all have a wee touch of Asbergers?

    Ali x

  6. Hi Ali, men are truly from another planet if MG and I argue, which is usually at the dinner table, I am really upset and can't sleep and think about it all night, MG, he just switches off and sleeps like a baby, he can literally empty his head and wake up in the morning and act as if nothing happened, men are truly weird!

    Apologies for not being around much, I am trying to catch up with everyone, MG has gone out for a drink. which gives me some precious time on the laptop..yay.

  7. All the Zen mind stuff is great (though all the people who claim it's the best way to be happen to be men, hmm). However, the opposite side to this is that men can't multi-task. So, there is also a benefit to the brain-like-fleas-hopping-around bit!

  8. I have all these thoughts at loose in my head too.
    Chef sees things in black and white with no muggy in between which makes him good at decision making,no doubts,which also eliminates worry.

    It would be nice to see things clearly sometimes.
    Great post!

  9. Hard to credit that it can actually be that simple, isn't it ? :-)

  10. This is interesting - I want a boy brain! Mine does not shut up.

    I think my man might be broken, becuase he thinks about stuff all the time too. Science or writing songs or politics mostly, interspersed with ' I wonder what Lisa is making for tea).

    (see when I comment here, the blog thing asks me to 'choose my identity', and every now and again, I want to write something more exciting than my name. 'Anne Redpath' or 'Maragret Atwood' or 'Helen Mirren' for example.)

  11. LM - There are some that break all the rules, but I bet you he's got some of Tertarus's traits too.

    The fact that he's got a model car indicates that he too is on the spectrum ;-)

    And don't dare say that you are someone else, I need my LM!!!

    Ribbit - they really are just like dogs. Women are much more catty. In so MANY ways ;-)

    Northern Snippet - yes, life would be easier if we could see things in black and white (like men and dogs!) We see so many colours in the moral spectrum that it can render you utterly immobile.

    Inner Whisper - I'm not convinced that multi-tasking is in our best interests....

    Dash - hurry up and get your computer thing sorted out, girl! I miss my regular dose of elegance and Frenchness :-)

  12. LOL, mine must be unusual then! Since we are usually thinking the same thing (conversation is starting to become increasingly redundant as we both say the same thing at the same time ) and I am most definitely not single-tasking :D

  13. Yep. That's what it is. I remember a girlfriend who would, if I looked pensive, want to know 'what I was thinking'. I would say socks. Years ago I remember a comedian (I forget who, it could have been Billy Connolly or just as easily Bill Cosby) doing a skit on this subject and recounting how, when women think that men must be musing on something earth shattering are really just wondering where their missing black sock is.


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