Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, February 14, 2013


After almost a year my mailbox is completely empty again. A lot of time was lost on just checking, prioritizing and organizing. Not that my list was ever that long, I am good at organizing, but still, more and more time and energy spent on process and not on content.

'My' theory is that one gathers so much stuff as one has space for. In the physical world one is limited to cupboards, cellars, attics or garage to move stuff 'out of sight'.

In the digital world space is ever expanding, limitless; stuff scattered everywhere; selectively out of sight. Only when we want it back we can hopefully find it again, if not deleted.

The mind is different. The brain is extremely efficient in storing forever more memories whether we want them stored or not, if we are lucky enough to be healthy. OK, sometimes we struggle with peoples names, but for the rest we probably remember every random bit of detail about a person, meeting or event forever.

Organizing is a fully automated (chemical?) process and in no way can we decide not to store memories or remove them selectively. The brain is blinding fast in recognizing patterns in previous experiences. Premonition could be just something that fits a pattern of previously stored events; already happened, no escaping.

'Emptying' the mind requires focus. At least that is a bit similar to emptying ones mailbox.