Saturday, August 7, 2010

help for the restless brain

As I mentioned recently, I am a horrible multi-tasker.
Well, it turns out that I'm not so great at single-tasking either.
If I multi-task, I turn into a lousy cook with empty tubs
of soapy water running through the wash and scattered
projects taking over the house. But when I try to focus
on just one task at a time, I drive myself crazy considering
what else I could be doing instead of the item at hand: "What
will I do next?" "How will I do it?" "Is this the highest priority,
or should I skip what I'm doing and move on?" "If I moved
to Valladolid, who would teach me to make poc chuc?" etc.

Now, in Leo Bautista's world, I would enjoy the sudsy water
on my hands while washing pots and pans, find great pleasure in
the aroma of (slowly... arrgh! so slowly) rising bread, and delight in the
colors and textures of the laundry I am folding. However, my brain
may just not be that disciplined yet. Or ever. So in the meantime, I have this
thing that helps me not obsessively think about what's coming
next. And this is it: scripture memory.

Last year, my friend Hannah and I led a study on a section of the Bible
called Ephesians. At the end, we decided to put it to memory. We
would work together on this by checking in with each other's progress
and helping each other review on a semi-regular basis. It seemed like a
reasonable thing to do, as we had just finished learning a bunch
that we didn't want to lose.

I'll post soon on some helpful techniques I've picked up this time around,
and other reasons that memorizing the Bible is a great idea.
But in the meanwhile suffice it to say that this is the handiest crutch 
I've found for focusing my mind in a way that allows sustained mundane
activity. And isn't there plenty of that to be had on any given day?

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