I must admit there is something about lathering my hair in the shower with shampoo that seems to massage the creative writing juices in me. I can create these incredibly well-worded pieces to be written, but like dreams, they seem to fade quickly as soon as I exit the shower.
I have begun, actually, keeping a dream journal. It is crazy what little tidbits from the previous day seem to enter into our subconscious and manifest themselves in our nocturnal wanderings.
One of the reasons I began keeping the dream journal was after a colleague commented about one of my dreams connecting it to another dream I told her about earlier that I, now, had no memory remaining of such dream or telling her about it. That she, someone who I thought I kept at somewhat of a distance, was able to recall and connect my dreams suggested that I, too, might want to collect and connect my dreams to each other.
I have a very vivid dream cycle lately. So vivid, in fact, that it's hard to wake up and go wherever it is I need to go next. So vivid, in fact, that I look forward to afternoon naps much as a kid looks forward to his tv time when he gets home from school. Sometimes I remember the dreams after, and often, I don't.
Much like my shower thoughts.
This morning, for instance, inspired by some random comment about Thomas Jefferson writing 19,000 letters, I constructed this long detailed framework for a snail mail correspondence to a friend of mine who had sent me a letter last fall by mail that I had not responded to, yet, in the same form. Don't worry, she knows I'm still alive. We are, after all, Facebook friends. We've even spoken on the phone and I acknowledged how wonderful it was to get her letter, and my regret at not having yet responded in kind.
So, in the shower this framework of a letter forms. The first introductory paragraphs, apologizing for the delay in writing, and how much I love and enjoy the form of writing are written whole as I rub-a-dub-dub. And then all the areas of my life that I want to share with her - lost loves, unrequited loves, unavailable loves (wait, there seems to be a pattern developing here) as well as my hum-drum every day life, begin to form.
In the shower, I dream up this vivid rich correspondence. The letter will be ten pages typed by the time I'm done. I am so inspired that even though I got in the shower so that I could move forward with a different task I need to do today, I felt compelled to sit down - still in my towel - and begin this epic letter that I had dreamed up in my shower.
"Dear xxx," it began so originally.
Then I crafted this inelegant paragraph:
last time I tried to write you via snail mail, I did it by hand, and I think
that was part of the cause of failure. I
type much more easily than I do write by hand.
And, fortunate for you, it is much more legible when I type."
That was not quite how I had mastered it - or clearly NOT mastered it - in the shower. And then, all of the rest of what I wanted to write, while I sit here in front of my laptop in only my towel, disappeared. And I stared at the remaining blank "page" on the screen.
You know there is that moment when you wake up from a dream when it is so vivid and fresh in your mind you think you'll never forget it. Boy are you wrong. Even by the time I manage to open up a place to write it down, it has already begun to fragment. Sometimes all I can get down are things I hope / think will trigger memories of pieces of it.
No memory of what Dad was doing, or why he was in there, but I remember that much. And I remembered it with such intensity, that the fact that it stuck after it faded must mean it's important.
I am brilliant in the shower. I am a virtuoso of words in the shower.
But by the time I get here, so often, it has faded.
I know, now, that I will not finish that letter. That despite the shower-time inspiration, clarity, intensity of the mission, it will not get written. At least not as I had envisioned it there. Perhaps another shower another day may inspire me past: "you're lucky I'm typing this because my handwriting sucks" inspiration.
Or perhaps, it will, instead, inspire another brilliant blog entry.
I try to capture my shower inspirations, much as I capture my dreams. Because I believe if I string them together they may have some meaning. But maybe, in the end, they will just be fragments. I'll never know, though, if I don't step back and look at them as a whole.
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