I have been reading Jan Morris’s Thought Diary in which she sets about recording a thought a day, and then when she reaches 188 thoughts the diary ends. It made me wonder how many thoughts I have a day, whether Jan Morris had to be selective about which of her thoughts she would record each day. There was one day that she simply recorded she didn’t seem to have had a thought. Is it possible not to have a thought, not to have a constant stream of thoughts? Thinking about whether or not I have thoughts, I have noticed how much of the time I am not thinking at all but only receiving impressions. Then again, almost every morning I find myself not knowing whether I have just ground fresh coffee for the coffee machine or whether I am about to make coffee through old coffee grounds. I am working on noticing when I am grinding the coffee, by paying attention to how my feet are placed, and the arrangement of things on the counter in front of me, and any noises I can hear, anything that will keep me aware of what I am doing while I grind the coffee. I suppose when I grind the coffee without noticing I am grinding the coffee, I must be thinking. But I think I am really only thinking about what to take for lunch, rather than having a thought you could call a Thought. Angelina says she doesn’t think it is possible to have a thought without writing it out. I think perhaps it depends on how long a thought has to be before you can call it a thought. We argue about whether Jan Morris was recording whole thoughts she had already had before she started writing, or was developing thoughts she might have only thought of having, but wouldn’t have thought out before she wrote them down. It seems to me this would be cheating but this turns out to be a difficult position to argue for, as so often with arguments about cheating when there aren’t any rules. All the same, this does seem to me to be cheating. If I were going to keep a thought diary I would only write down thoughts I had already had before I started writing. Whether including conversations is cheating though is another question. I think it probably is cheating, because it is almost impossible not to have thoughts in conversation.
These are paragraphs without essays or books to go in.