Writing 101, Day 2: Open Recesses

Writing 101: Day 2 – I describe what my mind palace would be like.

At this time, if someone asked me _where I would want to be right now_, I’d immediately say Bangalore. I was bored of my vacation 3 days in, and today marks 2 months of me being in my hometown of Kolkata. I start work on 26th June, and this home stretch of holidays is taking its toll on me. I’d rather run back to Bangalore right now, and solve issues of home-sharing with my bevy of roommates and celebrate 2 years of commitment with my girlfriend (12th June). But for the purposes of this assignment, I’d rather not talk about Bangalore. Rather, I want to indulge in a little practice in descriptive.

You may be aware of the concept of memory palaces (if not, click here)- BBC’s Sherlock adaptation mentions it on several instances, and Will Graham from Hannibal also uses it to keep control of his sanity. I don’t use this mnemonic device – I should perhaps, but I am already frustrated with trying to alleviate my lack of schedule and routine from vacation mode and I really don’t want to add more high-maintenance practices to the ones I’m already doing, such as learning Spanish and counting toothbrush strokes on my teeth (100 each in five sections – left, mid-left, middle, mid-right, right).

Instead, I want to describe to you, and in turn clarify to myself, what my mind palace would be like. I already have thoughts on what my ideal home would be like, so I imagine I’ll be borrowing heavily from it.

My mind palace would be a four bedroom cottage-slash-apartment. Think resorts or really expensive residential societies – one of numerous singular houses in a tight-knit community of the same. It is not concerned with the other houses or the common areas, rather only with the unmarked, unfenced boundary of its own area – a white two-storey house with a backyard roughly the size of the base area of the house flooring. The structure itself would have a smaller upper storey, like a castle in Super Mario Brothers, just not symmetrical. There’d obviously be a porch, and the garden would contain a barbecue grill and a small vegetable patch. There’d be a large treehouse, which is where I’d store my information about outdoor hobbies – gardening, fishing, trekking, etc. Remember it’s a mind palace – I need to clearly designate where I’d store information and knowledge that I have collected.

Inside the house, there are four sections – an underground basement, a ground floor with two rooms, a first floor with the other two rooms, and a small loft/attic. There’s two bathrooms, one on each floor. Additionally, there is an attached bathroom to the largest room, which is on the upper floor. Cooking is a hobby, so the kitchen is really large and open and cool. There is an open square of counters and there’d be several cabinets, the first to store knowledge of spices and powders – Hindi and English names and what they do. Similarly a cabinet for grains, fruits and vegetables, one for meats and eggs. One large cabinet opens to reveal a world map. Tapping on a continent brings up a list which lists recipes by country or by culture. The stove is under a mechanical chimney and there’d be a handi, an earthen pot, on the opposite side, in a corner.

Graphology dictates _three zones of writing_ – the upper zone being ideas and abstract concepts, the middle being everyday life, and the lower being physical and material desires. The mind palace is arranged similarly, with the loft storing unattached ideas and thoughts about life and the universe. The basement stores information about my needs and desires, and the needs and desires of my loved ones. The main floors are for all other thoughts. The loft contains a comfortable armchair, to sit on when pondering the mysteries of the universe. As thoughts occur, they float out of my head in blue smoky writing and wavily sort themselves, adding themselves to the available information in the right category. The basement is like a blacksmith’s workshop – whenever I work towards my goals, I pull a red-hot piece of metal out of the open forge and strike it on the anvil. I’m wearing a brown blacksmith’s apron to protect myself from the red, fiery words that escape the metal everytime I strike it, zigzagging themselves into the already available information. This information is stored on sword racks, armored mannequins and utensil shelves.

Furthermore, there is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt (disputed) – “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. ” In keeping with this, the smaller upper room is dedicated to attached ideas (ideas of the world and society). This includes thoughts of [the position of and how to improve] societal and family life. This room has storage area under the  bed for familial thoughts, and a study desk for societal thoughts. The smaller room on the lower floor is a record of events. Its walls are like a Facebook timeline (with tactile scroll) – one wall for events in my life, one wall for indirect events, i.e. events concerning family members and friends (divided into dismissable columns), one wall for national events, and one for world events. The larger room on the lower floor is for people. Being realistic here, we pay more attention to people, Ms Roosevelt can call us weak-minded all she wants. This room is more of a profile sort of system. Profiles may be sorted by place of residence, by job, or by matching interests.

The awesome living room has soft purple walls and black and white furniture. Gaming consoles and a large television are positioned right next to the largest staggered bookshelf capable of fitting in a house. If you can generate a histogram, use the data 5,3,2,1,1,1,1,2,4,3,2 to plot out points. The resulting structure is a rough estimate of the height and arrangement of the bookshelf. The 5 area is for displaying my art, and the rest for books. The wall above the 1s is for the gaming consoles and television. I know. Quite specific. No thoughts are being stored here. This area is solely to escape from thinking. I tend to over-think and over-plan things (case in point), so this is a nice reprieve.

That leaves the large bedroom on the upper floor. This is my master bedroom. It has cream coloured walls and lightly glazed furniture. The huge window on one side lets in tons of natural light, which accentuate the color and mood of the room. This is my haven, my sanctuary. It is my open recess of the mind. It is the base from which I access all other rooms. When I would enter the mind palace, I would spawn here. This room is where I store my perspective. It is where I imagine how happy I will be in two more years with my significant other, and hopefully many more years after. It is where problems become small, and solutions shine through. It is where sunlight warms me and a cool wind blows, indistinct in its character, not betraying whether it is the natural air or from an air-conditioner. It is the place where I close my eyes. I breathe, and I am perfect. Everything is resolved.

This is my response to Day 2 of the Writing 101 challenge. If you liked it, please give me feedback below via like/share/comment. If you are also participating in Writing 101, please give me a link in the comments, and I will read your works. 🙂

If you want to see more stuff by me, you can see it in my _Library_.

Thank you for reading!

  • That was a really great piece. I definitely got a very vivid picture from your description of it! I get a very neat and orderly vibe from it, which I certainly approve of in a house, or mentally constructed visualization.
    As for the intro, I wouldn’t say that it’s entirely necessary, but it doesn’t detract from the rest of the blog post at all. It was nice to be able to get to know a little more about the writer of the post, so I’d say you’re good with keeping it in!

    I’m a fellow Writing 101 participant, and my entry for today is this piece:
    http://mindofzachness.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/flight/

    After reading yours, I’m now thinking I probably should’ve been more descriptive with it.

    Either way, I enjoyed reading your post, and look forward to seeing more from you this month, fellow Writing 101-er!!

    • Thank you for reading. 🙂
      I’m glad you found it neat. My mother is quite a neat freak with the house, and I at least have the ideals in place, even if my house in Bangalore is less than perfect. ^o^’

      I’ll read your post now, and respond on your blog itself. Thank you for sharing, and I hope to see more of you too. 🙂

  • Pranav

    That blacksmith bit made me chuckle. :p

  • I love B’lore too,,,love your post btw 🙂

  • Wow! Great post! I like the fact that your thoughts were organized and the post was detailed. It was well thought through and even showed the intense research you had put in! I liked it!
    On a side note from neutral perspective- Your writing style is elaborate and for not so serious readers may be tough to retain. They may tend to lose focus if their imagination speed fails to resonate with yours!
    I liked it! Here was my super quick entry to Day 2. Do have a look and let me know what you think 🙂
    http://happinessandfood.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/a-view/

    • It’s funny because I didn’t really research anything! The thoughts presented in this article are based on thoughts that I’ve found so inspiring that I’ve based some desires and principles on them.
      I’ll keep your feedback in mind. I do tend to go larger and more unrestrained as I write. Thanks for pointing that out.

      • wow! If you did not do any homework, I am super impressed! You must be a geek 😉
        By the way – again super impressive! Awesome job!