Saturday, May 5, 2012


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:

"The 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.

"Saw Dad." 

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.

Read on...

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