Mind Expansion

One blustery British morning, my father and I stood on a damp, pebbled beach, talking about why people can’t swim.

“People can only imagine to the extent of their experience,” Dad said. “Kids that never see the sea rarely grow up to be Olympic swimmers.”

Another great man, Oliver W. Holmes Jr., said something similar:

Every now and then, a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”

Since then, we’ve discovered this also happens to women.

Just like we have to do a little rolling around on the floor and stretching to stay mobile, it’s important to stretch our minds regularly.

Books are a great way to do this because they take our minds to places we can’t go and people we’ll never meet.

Trying something new is an excellent way to stretch the mind.

Going someplace new is another fantastic option, especially if there are weird new people there.

Stretch your mind a little every day, and you’ll be able to fold it into all sorts of impressive shapes. 

And that’s hot AF.

 

A life in pulp fiction

When I was but knee-high to a grasshopper, Dad would often pop his head into whatever bubble I was in at the time and spin a battered and yellowing paperback onto my lap.

“Here, read that. You’ll like it,” he would say.

Then he’d wander off to build a homeless shelter or a school or a choir or whatever else he was crafting for the world at the time.

It wasn’t until many years later that I realize that he was crafting me too.

Those books prepared me for things I would encounter later in life that there are no lessons for; love, drugs, adventure, luck, betrayal, and death.

Those ageing and comically-fronted tomes of pulp fiction changed the way I thought about the world.

They opened my eyes to the possibilities and the madness and the complex, crushing beauty of it all.

And I wouldn’t be me without them.