Virginia Small: Birth of an Idea

Photo # 2

Whenever I put my pen to paper the entire omniverse explodes into existence.

It swirls, dances, spirals and sings inside my head, creating thousands of new multi-directional synapses in the time span of a single heartbeat. It vortexes; expanding in all directions at once: and my hand freezes.

Time stops.

It’s too much to write all at once. Every idea ever conceived, every variation of every scenario of every circumstance cannot be contained in one space. The 8 ½ x 11 paper having only two usable dimensions cannot hold the idea.

I think about breaking the idea into segments but as it is a confluent interstitial net, it cannot be cut into segments, lest all the dimensions unravel. And how does one explain a segment of a net? A segment of a net is useless and nonsensical to everyone except the mad. I cannot find a suitable place to snip this cosmic fractal.

How do I squeeze all dark matter, all aether, and all of space and time into the edges of an edgeless expanding cosmos of ideas flowing from me onto one or two limited and passive pages?

Jesus, Krishna, Oshun, Martin Luthor King, Michael Jackson, and Snoopy, all do the happy dance thinking they are going to be the one I write about. I must disappoint them all. I have not learned how to incorporate the planets, ants, black holes, dew drops on leaves and the countless creatures that live in them onto my still, blank page.

My pen hovers 15/16ths of an inch above the paper, trying to fit it all in. trying to explain God in 16 lines, so my poem will not be rejected by the local literary publication. How do I explain the universe within a five day deadline?

I suppose I could just write “GOD” or “EVERYTHING” or “ALL.” But who would understand that? We like complete sentences. But isn’t “ALL” a complete sentence?

So I sit with my dull scissors otherwise known as a pen and paper, and decide where to snip the cosmic net of ideas.

I stall, agonize, get another cup of tea and another spoon of peanut butter. I sit again and begin to cull without mercy. That way I will be able to at least, write about something.


Virginia Small: Birth of an Idea — 4 Comments

    • Interesting choice of words. My ideas boil and bubble, and most often spill over the original container. I try to let the idea simmer down into a homogenous stew, but the more I let the idea cook the more it brings forth new off-springing ideas.

  1. Time stops and time flows all at the same time. Inspiration hits when we least aim for it. How true. Like slicing purple cabbage, when the shreds and shards flutter to the plate, cutting through the core to the lovely pieces!

  2. SUH-WEET! Virginia, this makes absolutely no sense and every bit of sense. I’m impressed with what you’ve done with my photo. I didn’t know that “vortex” could be a verb.

    Michael Crichton has a novel, “Timeline,” that, in one of the opening chapters, explains quantum physics. When I read it, I felt like I actually understood quantum physics. But every time I tried to tell someone what I’d read, it slipped out of focus. You’re treading in some of that same, very interesting, territory.

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