Like a diamond glinting in the sun I see the flash of a brilliant idea and then I watch as the clouds come out and dim the genius that burned. In an instant that which inspired and titillated and bemused is reduced to nothing more than a fleeting glimpse of a Sasquatch. At least that what it feels like to me. An idea will float by my minds’ eye and in an instant, it darts off amongst the trees eschewing man and protecting its’ identity. My days are filled with amusing moments of, “ I read the best story, oh what was it called ?” and “ I just saw the most amazing …” or “ That cloud reminds of me of …” and my personal favorite, “ I think that writing about that thingamabob I saw the other day would just be perfect if only I could remember what the damn thingamabob is and how I connected it to something else and made a story out of it.” This happens all the time and is starting to make me think I am dropping my basket. Why is it that those little gems of creativity can’t hang out in my cranium long enough for me to find a notebook of some sort? I have a smallish one that I carry in certain bags but it’s not especially purse friendly. However, after all I saw of my last burst of creativity was the super nova hole it left in my brain, I am beginning to think that investing a buck or two in one of those five and dime note pads might not be a bad idea. Somehow carrying my laptop shopping or to the pool might not prove to be as efficient.
It strikes me that I cannot be the only creative person to have these moments. I think that occasionally I have lost what might amount to a Nobel Prize piece of creativity. This haunts me for quite a few days afterward as I search in vain for some trace of the thought pattern. That damn Sasquatch has eluded me more than once. I do have a notebook I keep at home that I have written down things to write about. I will have a tsunami of ideas float around in my head and I spend a while putting down the bones of them. The idea for this particular delve into losing one’s mind is from months ago. Kind of interesting that in search of inspiration I go back to a thought that I had months ago and it still sends me along the same path. It seems that there truly is no original thought anymore or I am just stuck in a rut. Obviously I need to go visit a museum or jump out of a plane to give me a new perspective.
Even my vocabulary seems to be taking a nose dive. Where once I was at no loss for words, now I search for just the right bon mot in order to complete the sentence. Words used to flow out of me like my spigot was broken. My words would tumble over themselves to get out of my brain. Now they appear to need a walker just to make it to the edge of my brain where I search endlessly for them like some kind of half blind word stalker. They skitter and skatter like marbles dropped on a wood floor. I chase after them, pausing dramatically mid-sentence to retrieve what used to come effortlessly. This is beginning to worry me. My vocabulary defines who I am. My ability to utilize language, written or verbal, is what I am known for. I have taken to doing online vocabulary quizzes to make sure I am still sharp. Isn’t this what old people do to stave off Alzheimers ? I even resorted to asking one of my Girl Guides to spell hysterosalpingoophorectomy in order to reassure myself that I could say it never mind spell it. Sad but true. That is how low I will sink to make sure my spelling prowess is still a weapon of mass instruction.
What worries me most is that is this inability to hang on to ideas or words might be an indication of something more sinister or to show that I have not completely lost touch with reality, could simply be that I just need to relax and meditate more. I’m sure there is a study out there somewhere that will validate the effects of cortisol on the language part of the brain. As my system is routinely bathed in cortisol in typical Type A fashion, my brain is probably punch drunk 90% of the time. I could also probably find evidence that my erratic sleep patterns are to blame. While I like to still believe that I have the stamina of a 20 year old, I didn’t have the stamina of a 20 year old even when I was a 20 year old. For the majority of my life, I have been the one wanting to go home early, sleeping on the train, whining about the time, etc. Maybe all I need is a few good nights sleep to jump start my vocabulary, defrag my memory and pick up my basket before Red Riding Hood makes off with it. Staying up late and then trying to function the next day is only going to give that wolf the opportunity he needs to snatch up Red Riding Hood and my basket and go visit his friend the Sasquatch for lunch.
So with that idea in mind, maybe it is time to end this little foray into my subconscious and let my eyelids do the talking. Maybe all I need is to let my brain do it’s thing without constantly bombarding it with ridiculous requests for perfection. Maybe what I really need to do is accept the moments of brilliance as they come and take comfort that just like the idea for this piece, it will come around again. After all, how many original thoughts can one person have ? Maybe staving off the wolf and defending my basket from that marauding little hooded girl is as simple as taking a deep breath and like the Sasquatch, taking a break amongst the trees to protect my identity.