Working without a net

by Lorin Michel Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:28 PM

As so often happens, I was having a conversation with Bobbi today. As rarely happens, it was actually a voice conversation. Usually we only speak through our fingers, on iChat. We can talk almost as quickly when we type our thoughts as when we converse them, and based on a little detour our talk took today, maybe better.

I’m working on a book project with Bobbi and several other therapists. It’s still in the starting phase, meaning we only have a strong outline, the dedication and the introduction. It’s about a topic that I am not educated on, and so I require information gathering meetings. I have been studying power point presentations and reading what has been sent my way. Today, I had questions and Bobbi had some time at 1:15 so we got on the phone to chat a bit.

I was asking, she was answering. We were tossing ideas back and forth, a game of word tennis, a great volley. And then, suddenly, Bobbi stopped. What’s wrong? I asked.

“I was going to say something,” she said. “Something really profound, relevant. A great idea.”

…OK? I asked.

“And it’s gone. Flew right out of my head. There should be a box or something to catch it.”

I laughed and then proceeded to tell her that the admission made feel strangely more together. Because that happens to me constantly. I’m in the middle of a sentence and I lose the thread. I’m talking about something to someone and suddenly, what I was about to say, that profound bit of wisdom, the incredibly creative idea, is inexplicably gone. Disappeared. Like in the cartoons when someone is vanquished and they go up in a pffft of nothingness. One minute they’re there, the next second they’re not. It’s like they’ve never existed and in fact, they didn’t really exist. Words come out of your mouth but they can’t be seen. Words typed on a word document can be, but words yet to be typed have never been there so there’s no way to prove that they were even once in my head.

I said that I preferred a net to try to catch my errant thoughts. The problem, of course, is that I rarely have a net. So my ideas, my thoughts, my wildly inventive possibilities disappear into the ether.

The first few times I noticed it happening I was sure I was losing my mind, sure I was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. I’ve since decided I just have too much going on, too much in my brain, too many things that I have to think about it. That I am often working without a net. Strangely, I’m just fine with that. And today, knowing that my bestest buddy suffers from the same malady, I’m also celebrating it. When you work without a net anything can happen. It could be exciting because when the thoughts and ideas reappear, as they inevitably do, it’s like experiencing something new all over again. That’s just one of the definitions of living it out loud.

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live out loud

Comments (1) -

2/6/2015 9:50:57 PM #

I never did find that damned thought. I'm sure it was brilliant.

Bobbi Jankovich United States

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