More of a casual essay, this piece is also included in Lost in the Shadows. People brushing off art or their own possibility by claiming they’re not creative has always bothered me. I don’t get that thought process – you’re breathing, you’re thinking, you can have ideas. I’ve also never quite got the process of having to go looking for ideas. If anything, my problem is that they all mug me at once and refuse to let go – they’re like little brain compys, if you’ll pardon the Jurassic Park reference.
At any rate, I love the sadistic little things, and I just wish more people could look at the world around them and see how gorgeously full of….everything it is.
They lay in wait like invisible particles full of heady anticipation, like electrons vibrating with the energy of pure possibility. Ideas exist as freely as atoms. They are in every breath, every cell, every living thing, and every article around us. They are part of our chemical makeup, but they must be attuned to and recognized.
Like flowers, they fill the entire world and must be gathered up in full bushels and arranged, but never cut too much lest they die before they reach full bloom. Ideas skulk about in shadows, under beds, and behind closet doors. They lurk with mischievous eyes and itching teeth and are always waiting to come up and bite you as dear Ray is so fond of saying. Their teeth only serve as needles for their wonderful venom to sink into their intended victim. Their bite makes one focus until the venom has run its course and the fortunate victim is released.
Ideas are literally everywhere. They hide in the softness of kisses, in every implication and syllable of words, in the chug of washing machine noises, in the sticky confines of empty pop bottles. They lurk in memories, phrases, band names, and quotations. They’re especially fond of the fuzzy quiet of the morning right after waking or the bleary in-between time between sleep and dreams.
A collector of ideas cannot neglect a single thing passed by on the street for fear it would be like the fairy tales: a great gift cloaked in disguise. Every mundane thing hides a story. Every choice is a what if. What if I walked down a different street today and found something wonderful there? What if I fell into an open grave and found my name already on the stone? What if faeries live in the hydrangea? What if the street drain secretly leads to somewhere else?
Ideas can be boisterous and imposing while you are in the shower. For this type, it is wise to keep paper and pen at the ready so they aren’t lost down the drain with water and soap. However, ideas can also be shy or aloof and may require coaxing in the way one would a timid child. They must be assured, tutored, and encouraged until they shine in their brilliance, confident that they will not be left behind.
Sometimes these elusive beasts must be fought with, for they are only a starting point and need to be expanded upon. They should always be listened to. No matter how loud or soft or what language and dialect they decide to speak in, each one has a distinctive voice. They should be treated with care as they age from birth into tempestuous adolescence, brooding midpoint, the climactic triumph that comes with age before they slowly fade until they are fully transformed into creation.
Ideas should be let go if you realize that you have stumbled upon one meant for someone else. Every idea is specific to a person, but they can become bored with neglect and then move on to the next open mind and the next ready heart. They are everywhere and in everything, sometimes mating with other ideas to form a rich and strange new generation that no one quite understands or expects, but are nevertheless drawn to.
There is the one thing, though, one single, fatal thing that one should never do to any idea is indeed the easiest transgression to make.
And that is to ignore it.