Unorganized Reveries

Hussain
4 min readJun 19, 2021

How odd that the ‘deep thoughts’, those reserved for the beautiful, neat, tidy pages of a diary, instead most usually (or unusually) emerge on the edges of half-torn, crumpled up, creased papers, those meant for rough work, or scribbling… much like how these set of reveries came to be.

And yet, interspersed in between the numbers, to-do lists, notes, ‘important stuff’, lie scattered musings, contemplations; occasional, momentarily-occurring, fleeting yet profound, reveries… meant to be reserved for those crisp, pristine pages of a leather-bound journal, not mixed with and slotted in between mundanities like “send email” and “pick up dinner”.

But whenever I sit down before those opened-to-first-page expensive journals, ink pen in hand, clean paper in front, the musings don’t come, mind blank, reveries blocked. Though if you suddenly pull out a pair of loose A4 sheets of paper with my last week’s rough notes in front of me, and all you’ll find on them is those reveries, written in scruffy ballpoint, meaningful revelations (to me) stuffed into the sides, on top and bottom of ‘important stuff’, slanting downward, almost off the page, in illegible handwriting.

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There’s a strange comfort in the interims. Those minutes spent in between, in not-perpetual limbo, pockets of time unoccupied by anything practical or important. The small interims which crop up unplanned, unavoidable, cemented in as cumulatively huge spaces of time, but scattered across spatially, existing whether you choose to occupy them with something metaphysical or not.

For instance, I know that when I wake up in the morning, I have to: go to bathroom, brush teeth, take shower, button shirt, put on pants, tighten tie, tie laces, wear shoes, eat breakfast. But pocketed in the middle of all of those things, situated in an almost organic, natural fashion are the interims. And those are what I absolutely love: the ‘so small they’re indistinguishable’, unidentifiable, unimportant on the surface, few seconds before and in between when you wake up, go to bathroom, brush teeth, take shower, button shirt, put on pants, tighten tie, tie laces, wear shoes, eat breakfast.

The seconds in between when you wake up and ‘go to bathroom’, for instance, spent in existential thought lying down in bed, “where am I again?”, “what was that dream about?”, “should I even get up and do the things that I have to do today?”. The time spent in the shower, looking through old memories aimlessly, sifting through “that time I went here…” and “that day all of us did this…”, or “the feeling I had when this happened…”. Stooping down while sitting on the bed to tie your laces and your eyes, in the middle of their facing-straight-to-looking-downward motion, catching an odd angle in which sunlight from the window hits the spine of a book on the shelf next to you, the colour it makes when that happens, yellow mixing in with green. The thought or feeling that’s triggered in a split-second just by seeing that happen, to then occupy your thoughts for a few minutes afterwards, not thinking too deeply, but just letting yourself run with it, in an almost instinctual way, in a ‘thinking about it but not knowing you’re thinking about it’ way. Not trying to attaching that feeling to anything, to deconstruct or analyze it, just letting it be, take over that small interim that has now come into existence in between what you were just doing and what you’ll have to do next in the few seconds after that the interim-imposed stupor passes. When you quickly rush out of the house after eating breakfast, stepping onto the porch, gaze wandering to the sky, or the kaleidoscope of colours made inside your head when squinting down to avoid the sun, looking at the flowers in the garden, the way you see water rippling in the sea next to a bridge you’re driving on, an endearing cadence in someone’s tone that you register and then let become a separate stream of thought altogether as they’re talking to you, an intricate design on a building’s exterior: all interims (or interim-triggers), easily occupied, seamlessly filled in, effortlessly spent, small temporal pockets that, if you choose to let them, fill you with delight.

And when they end, there is a bitter sweetness, when you step from onto the porch and into car, when someone calls your name and disrupts you looking at the light hitting the spine, you realise it is the ‘interim-ness’, their fleeting nature that makes those moments enjoyable. As they’re in their finality you forget them (purposely or not): like how you increasingly forget a dream the more time you spend awake after it’s ended, only to be reminded of another one when it pops up next.

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