I’ve started doing this new thing.
I drive quite a lot. And I tend to have these super great (at least to me) ideas going through my head at random points. However, buzzing along the highway at 80mph and having a Eureka moment is a revelatory and disappointing experience.
For example. I’ll be driving along and halfway listening to the podcast about the universe and pondering an interview or story I read/heard/did. There will be this golden glow of realization and it’ll hit me. I know exactly how to fix sport karate/finance/personal development/buying 17 books for the price of 3. “I have it!” I’ll exclaim! Then, there will be a minor celebration in the car coupled with me looking around wanting to tell someone. Anyone.
Then the sudden realization no one is there and I can’t exactly roll the window down and shout at the other drivers. Then I realize there’s no good way to write it down, voice to text works creatively with me at the best of times, and everyone I know is working or busy.
I sit and feel that golden glow start to leave, and realize I’m going to lose my great idea. And there’s really nothing I can do about it.
I’ve tried a few tactics to remember. Sometimes I repeat the idea to myself 20 times, then try really hard to remember it for whenever I stop the car. There have been times I’ve actually mimed “putting a pin in it” and hoped the physical reinforcement of my idea will help me remember it. (I’m a champ at creating bad pseudo-science to back myself up)
Sometimes I do actually manage to get a note on the phone, or scribbled on a piece of paper during a really straight stretch of road (see above) with only mild careening. Through whatever means, there now exist notes of ideas and thoughts that felt like something more pertinent than the normal garbage I come up with on a moment to moment basis.
They’re about expectation, inadequacy, and random fragments of lines that I think might be good someday. I have one line that reads “Gray day shedding ice like tears of an old love.” Below that is something about a super-hedgehog. Below that is “Blog post dichotomy between capitation and teaching curriculum”
Either I was dreaming about giving everyone extra heads, or that would be the autocorrect helping me out again (I’m guessing it was “competition”). And I am curious about the super hedgehog. Did it have powers? Why was this important at the moment? Did I see a hedgehog?
The thing is, I have fragments of ideas, stories, and feelings scattered in journals, notebooks, pieces of paper and post-it-notes everywhere. I lend my friends books and they return notes they found in them. I open a notebook from college and find an essay on the pain of leaving the teenage years crammed in-between vertebrate physiology notes and a drawing of an x-wing.
I’ve always done this. Now I just do it differently. I yell at my phone, make a lot of mistakes and really try to take advantage of these tiny moments of brilliance.
Because they become more and more important as time goes on. Because sometimes that’s the only time I have in a day to just let my brain wander around and kick proverbial rocks. It’s Labor Day and I’ve been at my computer since 8:30 (I let myself sleep in. Because vacation.) In that time I’ve been working on several projects and generally discovering I have more and more to do. I’m coming to the slow realization that I’ll probably be working most of the day. But, the luxury of this day is the leisure in which I can move.
I’ll take my time, I’ll digress. I’ll become ferociously interested in 17 things, none of which are at all what I should be doing. And I’ll let my mind run and play and relax. And the best part? The best part is I have tournaments and travel and adventure right around the corner. Today is my preparation before the big jump. The water’s deep and fast and capricious.
My small, peaceful moments are exactly the work I should be doing.
Happy Labor Day.