Monday, January 26, 2015

26. Group Mind

They say that if you spend enough time with someone, you start to be able to read their mind. Maybe you start being able to know what they're going to say before they say it. That may be true, but there's a second level. If you spend a LOT of time with someone, it goes way beyond verbalized conversation. You start to be able to know what they're going to do even before they do it. This type of relationship is by definition some form of partnership. You can't spend that much time with someone without them spending that time with you... unless of course it's the time you spend hovering around the free samples guy at the fancy organic grocery store, which is, of course, the only socially sanctioned type of stalking. 

Group Mind is the fancy term for when you and someone you love have developed a perfectly choreographed improvised dance of weirdness. This can be both a metaphorical dance (in the sense that you create something bizarre and silly that builds together) and a literal dance (in the sense that you dance around like idiots). The thing that separates Group Mind from regular ol' weirdo buddies just hanging out is the complete lack of verbal communication needed to go from normal behavior to completely escalated ridiculousness. There can be planned chicanery between friends, but Group Mind is unplanned. This partnered creation is so seamless that the causal observer assumes that you are acting out something you have seen in a movie or a TV show. They assume it must be some sort of clever reference to some indie thingie-whatever that they haven't seen yet. But, nope! It's just you and your friend being a perfectly matched, bookend set of bozos.

Group Mind happens once you spend enough time with someone that you have subconsciously catalogued every single one of their subtle communication cues, both verbal and nonverbal. Any slight variation, and you already totally know that something's about to go down. It's a friendship spidey sense. And it's completely baffling to strangers. However, it shouldn't be exclusionary. There's a reason it's called Group Mind rather than Partner Mind. This collection of energy can occur in any group, and it changes as the group ebbs and flows.

All that's needed is the openness to accepting and saying yes to someone else's energy, and building something with them without worrying about whether it will be cool or not. There is no official start or end to Group Mind, it simply coalesces and then dissipates like a passing wind. 

You may have a best friend or a sibling with whom you have this type of connection. But long distance hiking puts you in the position of developing this type of connection with someone in less than a week, simply due to the fact that you are experiencing all of the same external stimuli 24 hours a day. Group Mind is one of the most wonderful, elevating feelings in the world. It is putting your energy into the hands of someone else, and accepting their energy into yours. 

We spend all our time being blues and reds, but sometimes we can be purples if we keep our minds free and our hearts open.

Clever Girl


Playing tiny cards at a picnic bench in a flooded park. Yep.

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