Just bitchin'

The Abuse of Imagination


So…a lesson for those of us who subsist on popcorn and wine, and happen to enjoy crunching down on the un-popped kernels, defying common sense and dental advice in one fell swoop.

The dud kernel is an implacable adversary. It will show no mercy. In the end, it will win, cracking through tooth enamel like a diamond-bladed buzz saw.

You will seek succor from a dentist…not a profession normally associated with succor.

You may be told you need a root canal to soothe the screaming nerve endings that popcorn has coaxed into chronic rebellion. All the myths and cautionary tales you’ve ever heard about root canals will surface. Visions will loom of sadistic tormentors in white coats, of dental chairs in dungeons alongside racks and other instruments of torture.

Fear will paralyze you.

You will keep your root canal appointment only because you don’t see a way out that will resolve the pain issue. You will assume the position in The Chair. You will give off emanations of terror that affect the professional slated to work on your tooth, damping his upper lip with perspiration.

Forty-five minutes later, you’ll realize there’s been no pain; only noise and slight pressure. You’ll sit up and be flooded with relief that the tooth is no longer the focal point of your awareness.

You’ll realize the absurdity of fear. You’ll recall a friend saying ‘Worry is the misuse of imagination.’

And you’ll know that, if worry is misuse, then fear is abuse.

You’ll go home wiser, more philosophic. And ready to get back on the popcorn horse.



Creative Distraction


There is a fine line between creative distraction and procrastination.

But I know it’s there. I keep stumbling over it.

I love to write. Love it. So what’s up with that sudden need to browse the internet in search of ways to identify which application has hijacked my sound, rendering my laptop as silent as the grave?

With the story or article I’m immersed in open before me, why is it so urgent to investigate if the cat’s dish has enough kibble mounded in it to keep him from launching one of his evil, stank-eyed glares my way?

A beautiful, blank screen and the luxury of time to fill it with words awaits. But I can’t leave that breakfast dish soaking in the sink. Must. Clean. Now.

I love getting lost in my work. Absolutely adore that sensation of surfing waves of vocabulary, feeling as though all those tedious hours of lower education where you were forced to read what teachers, parents and other authorities deemed necessary, have finally been justified. The original purpose shredded and forgotten, but their elements distilled down over time into an internal thesaurus. Each successful excavation of expression slipping into place with a satisfying *click*…

So why all the avoidance?

And then I realized…It’s not procrastination. It’s Creative Distraction.

It’s that tiny break when you’re doing something else and…*click*…your imagination engages. The gears and cogs mesh. The next step in your story emerges from the fog, clear and concise and cogent. You fly back to your laptop, eager to get it all down. Then, as soon as the surge has passed…you stare at the keyboard and realize…

…you just have to organize your closet. Must. Do. Now.

So in the end it’s not a fine line dividing procrastination from Creative Distraction. It’s more of a trip-wire. And you don’t stumble over it. It catches you mid-stride, catapulting you forward.

Right into the next idea.

My plants need watering. Must. Do. Now…

catapulted cat2