Do you remember those grade school assignments? You know, the one where they give you a diagram of a brain and they tell you to draw how much space certain values and interests take up? This is like that, only taken up maybe… eight levels.
Let me just start out by saying that Inside Out was a disappointment. Okay, that’s a little harsh, I did enjoy it for what it’s worth. However, I was disappointed by how much potential there was in a story that represented the inner workings of the mind and how little they tapped into that potential. I feel like there was a better story that could have been told – oh look at me, two paragraphs in and already derailing.
Talking about my MindMap is hard because it’s a little bit personal. The idea built up over the years, starting from a middle school values-diagram of the brain, growing into something bigger over years and years, and culminating into the belief that everyone has a MindMap – they just haven’t gotten to know it yet.So perhaps, after this post, you’ll get acquainted with yours. For now, let me introduce mine.
I believe that everyone’s MindMap would be different, some open expanses, some small rooms, but when I close my eyes, I imagine a sprawling city. It wasn’t always a city, of course, but I have had years to build my mental infrastructure. It’s impossible to give a full tour without hours of time and scientists finally inventing a way to record visual thoughts, so I’ll just give you a rundown.
You never enter this city. When you visit, you’re just there, standing in the plaza. The sky above you is a swath of stars, and you’ll find that that this sky will never be blue, cycling through evenings and strange cloudy days, marked at end with the sun’s rise and fall. Once you’re done with the sky and look down, you’ll notice you stand on blackened stone, as if someone’s splattered ink across the city square. And then you’ll notice the motion racing away from the square, shadows swimming down every road, and you’ll follow it.
The roads in this city aren’t paved with stone – they remind you of LED screens, perhaps, and words scroll beneath your feet as you walk. They’re little, mindless phrases, the kind of thoughts you might have throughout the course of your day. ‘Ah, shoot, I forgot an assignment.’ ‘Today’s a lovely day!’ ‘I’m kind of hungry, but I could also not eat.’ Those kind of things.
If you stop looking at your feet and start looking around, the first building you’ll notice is the one the grand one just a little ways off. It’s a strange construction, old stonework and new glass. Perhaps the litany of flags give away that it is a hotel. If not, once you approach, the hustle and bustle of doormen and people, or perhaps just the glitzy luggage carts, will let you know once you approach.
It’s difficult to keep track of the guests and the residents – some people do live there, after all. Characters from my own stories, from students to pirates to princesses and more, each take up a room. They needed a place to stay, but there was no way anyone could navigate a sprawling residential district (not to mention the aesthetic disaster that would have made). And sometimes, there will be guests. Perhaps you know them – the Little Prince, Death, Cecil Palmer – characters from stories you may know yourself. They’ll linger and live until they’re ready to leave, and their vacancies never last long.
Elsewhere, there is a museum, and though it is open to the public, you will feel as if you’re intruding. Framed along the walls are snapshots of life in impressions, broad strokes of intimate detail. In glass displays are mementos that seem meaningless yet remain pristine. Memories line the exhibition hall, and they are so close that you could pull a thread on the tapestry and watch it unravel. Perhaps it is too much temptation for you, and you leave.
(tbc; sorry, this week’s been a menace)