Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Putting dreams in the bank
You wake one night, for what ever reason, and start to get out of bed. You know you had been dreaming the moment before, but the memory of the dream seems to slip away like a handful of water. Seconds later, you cannot for the life of you remember the dream. It was about something or other, of that you're sure; but the dream, the real meat of it is gone and, what's more, you know in your guts that it was a great dream and that you'd do anything to recapture its magic.

The same thing happens with ideas. It can be an idea for a gift for someone, the plot of the great American novel, an innovative way to solve a problem that's been bugging you forever or a pun for a blog. As life would have it, these ideas seem to come at inopportune times such as when you're driving at high speeds, paddling with no pencil or paper handy or while jogging. In fact, they are most likely to come at times that produce anything like a runner's high, that euphoric detachment that comes from floods of brain endorphins. Or maybe those ideas come when they do because they can.

It is during those moments when we've let go of thinking, when we have some how achieved a meditative-like state and the right (creative) brain comes out to play. After all, isn't that how dreaming comes about? In any event, what are the lessons of all those wonderful head shows they we lust to recapture but continue to elude us?

The first, and easiest to come to, is to write it down...immediately. No pencil and paper around? That used to happen to me on long distant runs, so I would make up a little song with the idea in it and sing my thoughts until I arrived home. Or pic a few key words that are sure to conger the idea up again and recite them as a mantra.

The secon lesson is to let go, get away or pretend to look the other way so that the idea won't know you're looking for it. But that sentence is a paradox in itself because in trying to do it (not think about it) you do it. That's where the running and paddling comes in. They are wonderful things to do, and they focus your mind elsewhere, just as the magician gets you to watch one hand while the other fumbles in his sleeve for the king of diamonds. So, if you are in need of a good idea, get out there and...

Paddle safe...

1 comment:

JohnB said...

Ahhhh, my friend you need a small tape recorder, or two. I used to keep one on the night stand next to my bed. And, one next to me in the car. Came in very handy many times. Now where did I put those???