As the Moody Blues once put to music, “Isn’t Life Strange?” We grovel. We smile. We fear. We step forward. We cry. We find answers in the oblique angles of incongruity and disorder in the “proven” models of tradition. We look for answers and only find solutions we didn’t expect (and sometimes don’t want to accept) while we give advice and never really know if we’re listened to. So at the next request we warily remain silent lest we recite blank words with intense meanings that drip to the ground and splash unheeded into a dry earth only to be absorbed and recycled into something useful without our knowledge, a cup running over in essence not intended to do so. But that tiny drop of sustenance hopelessly “lost” in obscurity may one day prove to be the primal impetus for a seed to grow even though we may be long absent. Still our influence may have meaning in a dimension we are no long part of. That dimension could be someone else’s life, a thought, a dream, an inspiration, that blossoms into a reality never thought possible at an idea’s conception. And much like much like the analogy I use often (no doubt created previously by someone more thoughtful than I. I don’t wish to plagiarize), a brilliant photographer doesn’t create a masterpiece from one lone snap but culls his masterpiece(s) from thousands of lesser attempts not quite “on the mark.” So by trial and error many times over memorable art emerges from a sea of mistakes–as it should–since learning occurs primarily from doing and not just by thinking about it.
And, oh, those silly little sources that can inspire, just as the mustard seed in the Biblical parable, a seed of non-proportionate size to the 9 foot tall plant it produces, may inspire the minute thought or fleeting glimpse–if we are waiting for its arrival–ever searching for an appearance and always ready to recognize it as such. Unfortunately, “obvious” rarely describes a mustard seed’s arrival and most often it is easily missed. But at some later time, a little shoot might appear and it’s up to you to nurture the plant into something useful and beneficial to someone–yourself or another.
Today, I refer to a modern phenomenon in this digital age, a burgeoning mustard seed now some 6′ tall (at least) with its branches askew, some leaves wilting to the ground while others flap in the wind precariously, even fewer producing edible fruit or tasty seasoning for the proverbial hot dog with relish (I couldn’t help but throw in a little Freudian homage to tweak the imagination of at least one since the source of my immediate inspiration emanates from one studying the discipline of misshapen minds in order to correct them) with a tongue-in-cheek effort at recompense for suggesting Office Depot as a solution. To those of you not in-the-know, that will remain my little mystery, nevertheless a tribute to an effort to help I found amusing. The more I think about it, should forward this to the author of “How To Pick Up Women” for his addendum:
“Hi. Can I help you carry that 30 lb. box of Hammermill 99.9% “jam-free” 8-1/2×11″ ream of bright white paper to your car for you and will you marry me? Or is “jam-free” a subtle message I should be picking up on?”
Ha-ha, I should add to that Freudian image. If not to amuse others, at least myself 😉 . . . ah, the freedom of social network communication, a two-dimensional throwback to when language was a series of grunts and emotions more instinctual than expressive of complex thought. Yes, I tend to over-exaggerate–hyperbole, a useful tool in my arsenal–but I have come to terms with what I sometimes do best (contrary opinions notwithstanding) by that same inspirational source which counts office supplies as a viable solution to my personal mania. In concert with my sister who asks if “I’m going crazy” to which I replied “Why do you all of a sudden assume it’s a future event and not a past tense condition?” In jest, please, as I’ve mentioned before to some (to others an unknown reference with an air of “Oh-oh. Something’s wrong here.”) “Insanity” was just a song I collaborated on a while ago but that’s a story for another time. Another creative moment in my life long passed but fondly remembered.
Oh, before we go much further, “rambling” or “ranting” may just be a part of my “snapping” thousands of mental photos–commonly known as “ideas”–trying to form disparate ideas into something useful to myself or others. And reflecting back on that comment I HAD to insert the parentheses on snapping just to keep my edge on the suspense of 2D language limitations since a writer wishes to incite sometimes rather than inform. But take it as you like it . . . I didn’t choose the pseudonym “Tobrnotob” because it didn’t mean a thing to me but because I appreciate the elegance of his thought process–not that I could ever match it–but it’s fun crafting words and ideas into puzzles for others to reinterpret; I’m entertained when the puzzle is reassembled into a form I didn’t expect but more appreciative if my intended meaning is discovered. That’s communication–good, bad, indifferent. (Note: “tobrnotob” is my original internet handle translated 2-B-R-not-2-B referencing Shakespeare. I was asked what I studied in school by a friend when I was struggling to come up with an email address.)
Back to the thesis.
My “Muse”–possibly an unwitting princess without so much as a clue as to who, what, why a fateful “friending” would produce a burgeoning inspiration back into a long forgotten and neglected talent (opinion dependent)– perhaps a stumble into a dangerous place or, more properly, a trip into a dimension not suspected but purely benign in my intentions–may have re-released inspiration for my long forgotten lyrics with a simple suggestion of offering them to the world and, as strangely as it appears, almost exactly coinciding with my own thoughts’ preconceived in timings only attributable to Fate instead of circumstance, all happenstance, as it were, or by some unseen design. You be the judge of that. I would be afraid to ask, as a matter of course, and discover that there is Truth to our God putting angels where they are needed most.
How “odd” that word above: “friending!” A new word entering our language as if we don’t have trouble understanding the thousands we already have with their confusing connotations and denotations. And how silly it would be to credit a college student for creating a system to communicate with others as if the spoken word were not adequate enough. But he did. And now it has expanded to millions worldwide, a modem to connect to those we choose and neglect those we don’t want. A whiteboard to post innermost thoughts, connect in absentia, proclaim ourselves in megaphone obnoxiousness, play a useless game without a partner (or invite one to share), discover past lives and people, whittle away the hours uselessly until inspiration suddenly sparks resurgence unscheduled . . .
Yes, I speak of the “inspirational” bane of some lives or existences, a modern phenomenon called Facebook, sure to deter the logical, pragmatic traditionalists but also countable as a simple way to interact without the boundaries of geography, a free-for-all of ideas both good, bad and indifferent accessible to all by choice or not, a way to be pestered with the trivial and the one-in-a-million chance that someone, somewhere, sometime, somehow may say a word or phrase that opens up a door for some illusive salvation you’ve been searching for while at the same time, never really knowing, understanding or accepting that inspiration can come from the damnedest simple things–like the proverbial tree falling with no one around. But you may eventually hear its echo reverberating from the distance like music in the ears of some forsaken bard wishing to create a melody that all might hear, or lyrics to soothe some soul–somewhere–even if it only happens to be your own today.
A simple click to befriend . . . could be the blessing or the curse depending on how you choose to look at it. I prefer looking at a glass half full, a vessel with hope and inspiration. Facebook may be a sinful waste of time, but without it my words may forever be cloistered where they do the least good for anyone. If for any ever. That’s not my choice. It’s time to release a thousand mental photos and let the critics hack away hoping against all hope a shard or two may touch another soul . . . if I only knew . . . if I only could . . .