Saturday, November 08, 2008

Great Ideas

Journal Entry
November 8, 2008 6:48 am

I woke up more than an hour ago and have laid in bed in that dreamy, esoteric state that I love so much because of the creative powers it gives me. On those relatively rare occasions where anxiety hangs out in the background and doesn't assert itself, my thoughtful, expressive self becomes master and I solve all of life's problems. I come up with wonderful ideas and plans with exceptional clarity and focus. Whatever subject I give my attention to--a story idea, a journal entry, a talk, a way to help my kids complete tasks they are facing, or, as in this morning's reverie, polishing my resume--I have the answer in a few moments. And it's usually a brilliant and elegant solution to a problem I've been grappling with for ages.

Then I get up and all of that shoots down the drain with a sucking squeal.

That is why in many cases I don't get up until I absolutely have to. I can't bear to let any of the epiphanies--my babies, really--go. And some of them have to go. There is no way I can carry all of my breakthroughs and discoveries of the past hour down the stairs and to this computer. And even if I could, there is no interface invented to which I can attach my brain directly and transfer my thoughts like raw video. There's no firewire or USB connection in my head. The best I could do right now, for instance, is list the some of the topics and issues I tackled and try to reopen the channel and coax the brilliant ideas back into existence.

On the other hand, let's say for a second that I could do that; that magically or through some advanced technology I could capture (and make sense of) my thought processes of the semi-dream state. (After all, I'm not stupid enough not to think of keeping a notebook and voice recorder next to my bed for such moments.) There is always the danger that I was insane for a while there. In the past I have read--deciphered, really--the notes that I had jotted down in my altered state and I wasn't at all impressed with what I saw there. That could be intelligent, rational selection, or it could be the thug that my brain has hired as gatekeeper. I've got to fire that guy. There is this huge, musclebound, knuckle-headed, cretan that stands at the door of my mind with a clipboard he can barely read who refuses entry to anything not on the list. Since good ideas are usually radical breaks from what is currently accepted, not much gets on the list or past the bouncer.

Anyway, here is what I can remember of the issues that I tangled with this morning:

1) A great idea for a resume: Name. Heading: "Video Editor with over twenty years experience" List the responsibilities of my current job-14 years. Briefly list a few of the other jobs I've had in the broadcast field. List some of the freelance clients I've worked with. Include a less-serious section headed with some witty line about how it's not as serious but still important (I've forgotten the line) that has links to my drawings and to the "endorsements" of Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. Somehow I've got to show that I don't really consider them endorsements, per se, but that they're pretty cool pronouncements of my talents and abilities anyway and are from A-List actors. (Of course, thatwould be apparent without me flogging the point.)

2) Blog entry about why, even though I'm a registered republican and I voted for McCain, I'm excited and hopeful about the prospects of having Obama as a president and how I get to see the influence of the Republican majority here in Utah on small children, my own included. For instance, while waiting at the bus stop with my son, I heard some 5th graders lamenting the change, saying that he's going to raise our taxes among other things. And my own 5-year-old daughter saw a picture of the President-Elect and said, "That's Obama. I hate him!" to which I replied, "Why do you hate him? We don't hate him, He's our president." "He said children shouldn't watch any TV!" Was her answer.

3) Blog entry about my unique position on race--how that even though I'm lilly-white and of European stock, I have a different perspective in that I have an African-American cousin whom I saw blatantly discriminated against by people who should have taken him under their respective wings. This entry could take the form of an open letter to him about how I think about him almost everyday and how I regret that we've been out of touch for so many years.

4) Now, see. I had at least half a dozen more that I can no longer remember. Stupid bouncer.