Elusive Focus

What to write? So many ideas, so little time to record them all. They ebb and flow, some stick, others slip back into the ocean. Focus is key, when I can find it. Focus with the ability to filter. I often find my focal point is a puddle of pulsating slime, not very clear, as you could imagine. It slithers as only slime can along a broken concrete and dirt floor, eluding me when I need it most. And when do I need it most? Now.

Here I am, fixated on closing a story for the second time. The first closing opened new doors. Funny how that works. This welcome weight I have hoisted over my shoulders, carrying it on end much like a Scottish games competitor, I am working desperately for the sake of my sanity to bring closure to this story again. Now my focus is a twelve-foot maple tree trunk I need to throw as far as possible. Without damaging anything.

My focus is damaged. It just is. I have no explanation. It reminds me of the astigmatism I used to have in both eyes – I had Lasik. Unfortunately, Lasik doesn’t sharpen conscious thought. It morphs from one form to another without warning, sometimes holding my subconscious hostage as my superego tells it it’s not very nice and should stop that. Yeah, that superego is too gentle, too nice, too outside of my general area of focus. Is that what it is? Attention deficit?

As I sit here tapping out S-O-S in Morse code, for all the wrong trivial reasons, I am crystalizing my ideas, my intent to close the story, or at least current storyline. That more than likely is the thing that is stirring my brain non-stop: the story is not meant to be short. It has become a living entity, and I need to nurture it some more before I drop it off a cliff where it will return to its primordial ooze state of self-being. Or as I like to call it, the slime found on smooth rocks covered in algae and mollusks. What am I writing?

A Semi-Subconscious Self Portrait

Drawing inspiration from the mundane, regular, everyday type of stuff that surrounds us; average, unnoticed, omnipresent. That’s where I find the strange, the scary, the peculiar, the horrific. Much like the carnival sideshows of decades past, showcasing oddities and mysteries, my brain is both spectator and showman when I write. That sounds so esoteric and pompous, I suppose, so ridiculous yet it defines my creative process. I can only be egalitarian to a point, as far as my humble nature allows before I fall victim to self-induced humility and fall into that downward spiral that is routine nature.

Somehow, this rambling makes sense to my subconscious and my ego is enthralled. One day I may learn a thing or two from my subconscious, the distant world where all of my creativity stems from. It’s the well-fertilized part of my being, complete with a robust composting system providing nourishment and enrichment.

Confused? Me too, maybe to a lesser degree. This is my brain in raw action, after all, translated into words that a reader can understand.

Otherwise, if my mind was to get with the program, the doldrums of everyday work and life becomes the routine norm where innovation is scoffed at and free expression is shunned. The thick skin of humility blockades the acceptance of compliments, accolades, and accomplishments. We accept only what we have been taught in school about being nothing more than a number in the system, a little cog in a great machine, the pawn the corporation sees as expendable and thrown into the basement to work next to the boiler room. These things really happen, some figuratively, some literally, others fictional. You get the point. I think.

A Writer’s Exploration: Fleeting Ideas

That worst possible scenario for any creative person struck me this weekend – drawing a blank on ideas about what to write about. I knew I needed to write something about writing, but what? I ignored the news for the past week or so, having no idea of what the latest is on the hot button issues or presidential race. I know there has been a lot of politicization on the unfortunate Martin death in Florida, as evidenced in some posts on Facebook and Twitter I read, which made me feel sick. Why shouldn’t I be surprised, though? Somehow, the conservatives support the shooter, while the liberals support the victim. I really don’t get it. Yet another example backing my life-long independent streak and disdain for partisan politics. Whatever. Moving on now.

Here I am writing about something with no particular purpose in mind. Just letting the words spill from my mind and into my fingers finding their final resting place on the computer screen. I write because I do, I have stories to tell, from what I have been told. With no ideas in mind the language still manages to take form in something comprehensible. That is, if you find the stream of consciousness gibberish comprehensible. I’m not sure I do right now as I fight to stay awake.

But this is how ideas are born, at least for me. Well, this is one of several ways they are born; one I don’t use enough when I am faced with this weekend’s dilemma of fleeting ideas. So, as I write this piece having no ideas, the idea has already taken form – a blog post about having no ideas. How obnoxious can I make this? How poignant and life changing? How mundane. I write because I need to, because it’s my job, my education, my passion. Because I would much rather invest my short time on this planet creating and hopefully enlightening others than passively watch hours of television each night. That would suck the life right out of me; I know so because it has happened.

While the news media pundits debate whatever the current topic is – I seriously don’t know – and reality TV shows continue to take the country by storm, I will sit idly by with an active brain and computer on my lap typing away. That’s what matters to me.