Meena Rose On the Air

Once upon a time I met a young, shy woman named Meena Rose. She’d come onto the Institute of Children’s Literature’s Writer’s Retreat to join our merry band of word workers. It took less than a half dozen visits for her to become a favorite attendee. Her wisdom belied her youth. Her perception and insight startled many of us who’d lived twice as long. And her gentleness melted our hearts.

I give you Meena Rose, who will surprise those who don’t as yet know her and who will bring smiles to those who already love her. Take it away, Meena.

 

Have you ever slowed down your train of thought?

Meena–A Desert Rose

By: Meena Rose

It just so happened that I was asking myself that very question a few days ago. I was curious what my thoughts would be on a topic if it was delivered in freeze frame segments to my mind. Would I reach the same reaction in the end or would it be different for having slowed down the input and the reaction to it?

There really was only one way to find out. It was to put the idea to the test and have a voice recorder on standby to record my immediate impressions before they faded. Since I normally neither watch nor listen to the news, I decided to select the first full story that I would tune into. Without further ado, here are the results. I will relay the segments and then reconstruct the story at the end.

Newscaster: This is about a little boy

Meena: Ummm, and, so?

 Newscaster: Who ran

Meena: Really, where?

 Newscaster: Into the street

Meena: Irresponsible parents, silly boy, will they ever learn. <I am feeling very agitated and angry>

 Newscaster: In front of oncoming traffic

Meena: This does not bode well. <My gut actually heaved and I felt myself tense up>

 Newscaster: Escaping from

Meena: Oh no, I am so sorry little boy. I hope you are safe. I am sorry for judging your parents too. <My arms get goosebumps>

 Newscaster: His father who was

Meena: I knew it. You were just like all the little kids who escape the grips of their parents. <I am feeling flushed and angry again>

 Newscaster: Chasing him with a knife.

Meena: Oh, no! Dear God, no! I am SO SO sorry kid. You should never have had to deal with that. Your dad is a monster you did not deserve. Please be alright kid, please be alright. .

 Newscaster: A bystander

Meena: The story is not over? Please let it end well

 Newscaster: Tackled the father

Meena: Yes! Yes! Oh wait, what about the boy? What about the boy? Don’t keep me waiting. 

 Newscaster: While another bystander

Meena: Please help the boy! Please!

 Newscaster: Pulled the boy

Meena: And?!? Hurry up!!

 Newscaster: To safety.

Meena: Yes! Yes! Kid, I am glad you are safe! <My knees feel like jello and I am breathing fast>

To be honest, my mind shut down after that. It did not want to hear any more. I had had enough. Promptly, I turned off the TV set and sat in a broody silence. For once, I understood why I can’t bear to hear the news. Being jerked around emotionally from the extreme heights of expectation to deep valleys of despair within the blink of an eye is really not my cup of tea.

However, I am this way when I read fiction as well. My mind will parse, process, analyze and react to the story in segments which I am certain the author had not anticipated. They do not obey the basic rules of punctuation. I am so riveted to the book and the adrenalin rush reading  generates that I lose myself in time.

One time I had read for 5 hours straight. The sun had set and I was famished. I went to the bathroom instead and settled in for another 5 hour burst. That book just had to be finished in one day. I literally “wear” the POV character as a cape around my shoulders and walk a chapter in their shoes. It adds to the experiential rewards I receive from reading.

There are times when I have been so angered by a story that I have flung the book clear across the room and relished in hearing the “crack” resulting from the spine hitting the wall. Once, I have cooled down, I would get up and pick the book up, apologize to it and start reading it again as though no violence had transpired.

There are other times when I have been so moved to tears that I cried openly without bothering for a tissue to dab at my eyes. Those books have tear stains upon their pages, marring the perfect finish of the page.

There are other times when I had been so terrified that I would hide the book away from sight and make a pact to only read it during the daylight with many hours separating the reading and sleep. Let us not forget about laughter, joy, peace and love; all equally powerful.

I developed a term for this reaction. I call it Enhanced Experiential Engagement (EEE).

There is something to be said for allowing the train of thought to cruise at its normal pace. I wonder if it mercifully collects large enough nuggets of information to spare us the highs and lows in our unending assessment of the world around us.

Or, do we still go through the highs and lows without dwelling on them for too long, thereby nullifying the effect? Are we better off perceiving the world in an EEE way? Or, are we better off without the notion of EEE?

Here is the story I heard:

“This is about a little boy who ran into the street in front of oncoming traffic, escaping from his father who was chasing him with a knife. A bystander tackled the father while another bystander pulled the boy to safety.”

How did you react? Did you slow down your train of thought? Did you have an EEE? Describe your reactions upon reading the story.

Bio

Meena Rose is a multi-lingual world traveler and transplanted Oregonian; a mother of three children (one boy and two girls) who works as an analyst by day, promoting creativity through writing, storytelling, and role playing wherever she goes.

Catch a glimpse of this lovely lady each day on her website, “Through the Eyes of Meena Rose” at: http://meenarose.wordpress.com/

With each day’s offering, you’ll discover more depth than you might imagine.

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  1. May 17, 2012 at 2:23 am

    When I was 12, a snow day created a three day weekend where I sat in my room and consumed an entire box of booster-sale candy bars while I read The Once and Future King cover to cover with only the occasional trip to my bathroom. I know that trance well.

    I’m an EEE so much so that I have difficulty watching films, but I watch the news (PBS only) every night. If it’s real it disturbs me less for some reason…except when children are involved.

    Thanks for that thought-provoker.

    • May 17, 2012 at 7:42 am

      *High fives* hello EEE sister, I am glad you could relate.

  2. May 17, 2012 at 2:39 am

    This is a great post, Claudsy! I loved it, the story, the story behind, the “on-air” part, Meena’s part… in short, all. Way to go!

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Aw, thanks, Mariya. Meena’s one of a kind; a gem that sparkles, even in the dark. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Please come back again. Don’t be a stranger.

    • May 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Mariya, I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. May 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Claudsy, it was my pleasure to guest post on your site today.

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

      It’s been such a fun experience. You’ll have to drop by with wonderful tidbits like this more often, my friend.

      • May 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

        *Gleefully rubs her hands* Definitely!

  4. carrieboo33
    May 17, 2012 at 7:47 am

    That was most interesting, and it’s wonderful to hear Meena’s mind again. After reading the entire Hunger Games series in just over 3 days (an absolute record for me) last week, I know exactly what you mean! I had to keep reading to see what all this meant and where it was going. It was too jarring for my brain to stop, yet I was haunted by it at the same time, and for days after. As for the news and how you processed it, yeah, that’s totally what my brain does, constantly seeking to make sense of what it’s hearing and sum it up… it was much less preplexing to read as a short paragraph. News is tough to handle, twists up your insides.

    Thanks for this Clauds and Meena. I will definitely check out Meena’s website!

    • May 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

      Hunger Games in just over 3 days would be a record for me too !

      EEE all the way 🙂

      Carrieboo: good to hear from you!

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Glad you dropped by, Carrie. I know in my best days, I used to read like that, in the zone. I can’t do it anymore and missed it. Keep up the habit for me, too, will you?

  5. May 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Reblogged this on Through the Eyes of Meena Rose and commented:
    Claudette Young had asked me to do a guest blog for her site. She said she would accept anything I could think of. After studying her site and her writing, I settled on sharing a recent personal experiment for what happens to me as I react to listening to the news. Visit her site and read more about how I slowed down my train of thought one day.

  6. May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Meena … Somehow I caught your interview of Claudsy but not hers of you! Will repost over at Poeming Friends. In terms of thought process – you’ve basically articulated quite wonderfully a form of “free association” which is as I’m sure you know part of the analytic process and a way that we can free up our minds and perhaps come across new ideas and blockages to new ideas … You have also put your finger on the pulse of something that is called Emotional Intelligence .. which is very much on the minds of researchers nowadays… Of course, as with any emotional response – whether this response enhances or detracts from life is where “we’ come in… If one becomes flooded with unwanted images as you imply simply too much information to process that would not be terrific and would keep those news shows firmly in the “OFF” position.. if one was able to channel the emotions say.. ahem.. dare I .. into poetry or some form of creativity then one would have a rich never-ending source …. I very much like the concept and acronym of EEE as this is the way you would assume that many might feel being overwhelmed with vivid images and associations. Okay, ladies – much food for thought I will simply say whEEE what a terrific interview! 🙂 (btw … I think EEE would be a terrific children’s book!)

    • May 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Dr PKP,

      Thanks for stopping by. I am a huge fan of Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence. I guess with EEE, I view it as the culmination of Emotional and Visceral Intelligence.

      And yes for a writer or poet, EEE offers a wealth of opportunity.

      Cheers
      Meena

  7. claudsy
    May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Great response, Pearl. Thank you. I’m sure Meena will be along shortly to reply to your “analysis” of her EEE.

    I’m so glad you took the time to stop by, my friend. You must be running a marathon today.

  8. May 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    This is great, girls. 🙂
    Meena, I’m a voracious reader, when I have the time, and can SO relate to this. When I’m reading a great book, no matter what else I am doing that day, I am thinking about the book. When will I be able to get back to my book? What will happen next in my book? It’s almost like a death when I finish a great book (even though I have hungrily made it happen as quickly as possible), and it’s a real tragedy when I finish the last of a beloved series. Unfortunately, in my current phase of life this means I’m not reading much at all (except poetry, which offers passionate, short-term commitments)…simply because I don’t have the time or the energy I want to dive in.

    The news? I can’t watch at all. As a mama, and a human being. It’s all just too much. Naive, perhaps (I do read the day’s headlines on Google), but I prefer to stick with this: Think about what is good, and honorable…and worthy of praise.

    Love Claud’s phrase: “her gentleness melted our hearts.” This is SO true of you. 🙂

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks, De. So glad you could pop in. I know you’re over the top busy. I’m always glad to see you.

      Our Meena does us proud, doesn’t she?

      • May 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

        Now you are working hard at making me blush, Clauds. I hope I won’t disappoint.

      • claudsy
        May 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        You never do, my friend.

    • May 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      De, I am SO glad you enjoyed this. I know I had to take a hiatus from my voracious reading as well when my kids were born. I am just getting back into gear now but nowhere like my prior pace.

      As far as the heart melting business, hope having ooey gooey hearts is a good thing 🙂

  9. May 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I SO get your “train of thought” and EEE experience! Yes, it makes reading a book (or watching a movie) fascinating, entertaining & exciting, but the news? I can only take that in small, gut wrenching, doses! Excellent read, Meena! Thanks, Claudsy! 🙂

    • May 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Pamela,

      I am so glad you enjoyed the read. EEE all the way!

      Cheers,
      Meena

  10. claudsy
    May 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    You’re very welcome, Pamela. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit her today.

  11. May 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    When it comes to news, I think I’ve always experienced it in this way because I’m a reporter by trade. I spend all my time in social media now, but I spent 10 years in the field. So I found out the facts this way. But when it comes to life and conversations, I don’t.

    I really see the value of doing this now. Thank you!!

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Ivy, I’m so glad you stopped in and that you enjoyed Meena’s post offering today. Doing this procedure would almost be too scary for me. I have a hard enough time dealing with full-blown emotional reactions when I don’t dissect them. I never could have been a reporter. That much I realized a while back. I hope you come by again soon.

    • May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Ivy,

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. 10 years as a reporter in the field… I think we all have lessons to learn from that! Have you ever run into situations that were hard for you to report on? Have you ever run into situation where it was easy to report on yet the audience had a hard time with it?

      How do you get past the tears in those news stories? Any tips for writers who may have been too moved by what they are writing to continue?

      Cheers
      Meena

  12. Marie Elena
    May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Two of my very wisest friends came together today. Twice. I haven’t been over to Meena’s blog yet, but will be headed there next. Clauds and Meena Rose, this was a brilliant idea! Am I surprised? Absolutely not! 😀

    Meena, your “freeze frame” reactions got me thinking … does my brain do the same thing? I suppose it does, but I’m not aware of it. I only feel the emotional drain after the fact. I think my brain doesn’t process quickly enough to react to the individual images/phrases/events as they are unfolding in real time. At least, that is how it comes across to me. I’m completely enthralled with your example.

    Thank you, ladies, for coming together for this! And CarrieBoo! *wavewavewave* Hellooooo up there!

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I hope you enjoy that one as much, Marie. We’ve had a great deal of fun with this exchange. I hope you come around the old homestead more often, my friend, but I know how tight your schedule is.

      Good to see you here.

      • Marie Elena
        May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        Hugs!!

      • claudsy
        May 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

        Right back atcha, Marie.

  13. May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Marie,

    I am glad you enjoyed the post and our little guest blog stunt. We spent a few days conspiring 🙂

    I think, Marie, even if you do not EEE your family might. So keeping that in consideration is always helpful in recognizing some of their sensitivities. Also children naturally EEE by default and some seem to grow out of it, others not. All in all, an awareness that some discomfort around life events, news, movies and stories may be accidentally downplayed by non EEE’rs.

    My 2 cents 🙂

    Cheers,
    Meena

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      I wonder if you might night be very right on that, Meena, and that that is why many youngsters don’t handle change of any kind very well. Just a thought.

      • Marie Elena
        May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        Could well be, eh?

    • Marie Elena
      May 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      It’s not that I’m not affected by what I read/hear/see … I’m GREATLY so. It’s just that I don’t take in the bits individually as you do. Or at least, I’m not aware of it. It seems a foreign idea to me. So VERY interesting though, and I may decide after much consideration and pondering that I actually do process that way, but just wasn’t aware of it. Food for thought!

      • May 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        Cool beans !

        on another note: one of you American English speaking people needs to explain how beans can be cool… I just think of body temperature emissions when I think of beans… bound to be on the warm side, no?

        I hope I EEE’d in the wrong direction 🙂

      • claudsy
        May 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm

        But they’re one of the healthiest things you can eat, in so many ways. Sometimes a bit of unpleasantness is necessary for good health, don’t you think?

  14. May 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Meena!!! I love your descriptions and voice! I love that you throw books and relish in the cracking sound of spine on wall!! This was such a fun thought-provoking post!!! Sorry I’m so late, I was putting an interview together today! I, too, can’t watch news…it’s too much. Smiles to both of you!!! Great job!

    • claudsy
      May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Aw, thanks, Hannah. I’m glad you could stop by today. I know you’ve been pushing a deadline. I’m proud you found time to get here for the event, and glad you liked it.

      • May 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

        I met it and got my fanny over here!!! Thank you, so much and for your contribution over yonder at Meena’s!! I so enjoyed reading the both of you today.

        I feel so lucky, really to be in the presence of so many amazing writers!!

      • claudsy
        May 18, 2012 at 12:07 am

        I enjoyed myself and got to use a different voice than usual in prose. That was nice, too. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Hannah.

      • claudsy
        May 18, 2012 at 12:16 am

        Aw, thank you. That’s sweet. We’ve been blessed to be read by so many today, and enjoyed it as much as anyone else did.

      • May 18, 2012 at 7:22 am

        It IS a many faceted blessing!!! Smiles to you dear Clauds!!

      • claudsy
        May 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

        Thank you, Hannah.

      • May 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

        :)! You’re welcome!

    • May 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Hannah: I am so glad you enjoyed the post! Glad you like my voice, only I got 🙂

  15. muddykinzer
    May 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Wow, this was interesting! Now I want to know what book you were reading that held your attention for 5 hours! And that news story…horrifying. That’s why I don’t watch the news either. Thanks for sharing!

    • claudsy
      May 18, 2012 at 12:18 am

      So glad you could come by and sit a spell, Muddy and happy you enjoyed your stay.

  16. jrwoodward
    May 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I haven’t read anything so strong and moving on the power of books in a very long time. Well done!

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

      I am glad you enjoyed the post and found it strong and moving. In truth, when I am fully engrossed and reading, I can easily jump out of my chair in fright if some touches me or quickly pulls me out of my zone.

  17. claudsy
    May 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I’m so glad that you came by and found this then.

  1. May 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm
  2. June 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

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