The Burden of Ideas

I can’t say for sure but I think I have a lot of ideas swirling in my head. I mean, it seems like the fish swimming in my mental aquarium are roiling the waters but I can’t see what’s in your mental aquarium to know relative wise. That’s not to say my fish are good fish. They’re just fish, popping out of hiding and playing in the bubbler at the most inappropriate times like when I’m trying to fall asleep or when I’m concentrating on something else. Ooh I should write about blog post about XYZ. Oh it’d be cool to photograph more bridges. I should buy a bigger ladder for tulip season. I should try printing on acrylic.
It’s a blessing to be interested in many things and have thoughts about ways to experiment, but it’s a problem for me as it means I have an ever increasing to-do list. It also means I feel defeated when I see somebody has actually made progress with an idea I had. It means I could probably be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. It means I go in the other room to get protective spray and find myself rewiring the gallery music system.

Ideas are cheap, it’s the hard work and the follow through that makes an art piece, or a startup company. In the tech world it’s rarely the first company to the market that wins. In the art world we all interepret an idea differently, so there’s still validity in proceeding. But the cost of the idea is that burden of hope that it places in your mind. The seditious optimism that one could and should be accomplishing that.
Of course, I imagine it’s worse to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, a perpetual mental dial tone (for you youngsters that’s a reference to pre cell phone days). But sometimes I’m at my happiest, when I’m executing and in the groove, and focused. Often this is when I’m busy enough running, putting up framing studs, playing a video game, that it feels like a flowing stream, rather than a small whirlpool in an aquarium.

Here’s a stretch but is indicative of the weird connections in my brain, this ideas/hope vs. focus/acceptance sort of continuum (I’m not describing this well, ack parenthetical idea! stop, assume your readers will forgive you, back to your run on sentence) is how I imagine the continuum of single and looking for “the one” vs. an arranged marriage. Why is it that we seek perfection and end up with loneliness, and I hear and read about so many people in arranged marriages that are very happy (exceptions abound in both cases – just a thought experiment). What about us is happier when we don’t have choices? if we don’t have an idea for something better, are we happier with what we have?

Would I be happier in a authoritarian regime, telling me exactly what to do, NO, but I am interested in learning more about how to deal with unpursued ideas, possibilities just out of reach and the alluring siren of hope keeping me from settling in with a extra large refillable tub of popcorn, a backpack of soda, a 2×4 of Kit Kat and watching this mostly pg-13 life flow by.

Hmm. I’m weird.


2 Responses to “The Burden of Ideas”

  1. “I see” said the blind man.

  2. I’m right there with you! If you’re crazy, I’m insane. Does that make us normal? I think the role of an artist is to explore those areas of consciousness and thought that few allow themselves to do, or are perhaps afraid to explore. Just keep writing down your thoughts and exploring your vision!

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