When people are alone, what are they thinking? First I would ask myself, when I am alone what am I thinking about? And then, is there a reason to think that simply being human means people have common psychological behaviors.
Why do we have conversations, maybe like these two, stand and waiting for a bus with nothing else to do, is there a conversation? (circa 1970)
or does it look like this, these were my neighbors on Belmont Street in Somverville. (circa 1970). These kids were “quite young” to me 48 years ago , but say the tallest girl was 10, so 10 compared to 25 and now 58 compared to 73 looks a lot closer maybe just because 48 years ago it was comparing children and adult, now both are one category, “seasoned adult.”
While older people have more experiences, if you imagine a place where we store experiences, and then consider its capacity there are a few interesting options. 1) Its one size, so the first experience fills up the space and then a second experience enters and the same space is now shared by two experiences and so on and as the number of experiences increase the space for each decrease ; 2) the capacity grows each time new experiences enter; 3) experiences are named, classified, catorigized and ranked on a scale of “importance-nonimportance.”
Still, then you have the problem of defining what is “one experience?” Now you may think this is a bunch “esoteric non practible making knots with words nonsense that people with nothing better to do with their time than try to make themselves feel good about themselves,…
If you think about it we do it all the time, naturally, without intent or planning. We see things all the time
But that is not what I mean. How do we separate one experience from the other? When does a discrete experience begin and when does it end . Basho, as have many others, said the the journey is the destination, the experience of getting there is as important as getting there, and of course I ask Where?
The experience of high school, the experience of being Jewish, the experience of a birthday, the experience of jumping into a cold mountain stream on a hot August night in a backwoods in Maine, the experience of getting married.
You can see these as each a different all different, yet they are sometimes occurring at the same time—, being educated at a Catholic school, eating steak, practicing swimming training— experiences which you can be having at the same time . . . And still you can classify thsee as different experiences, as quick as you please, no effort, while walking, chewing gum or eating.
The ability to categorize, classify and rank our experiences is human capability. Still sometimes it can be a bit confusing.