Not all ideas are good ones

I remember when I first found myself attracted to creative people, how the best of them seemed unstoppable fountains of ideas. And I quickly realised that quality control was not part of the equation. That would impede the flow. I marvelled at how someone could come up with remarkable, inspiring trains of thought one minute, and blindly stupid, asinine rubbish the next.

As a callow youth, I was quick to make this judgement of the genii I encountered, but never for a moment considered that I did the same thing. I liked to think that I applied a filter to what occurred in my fevered brain, sparing anyone nearby from my direst imaginings. The brainwaves that I made public were good and pure, immaculate conceptions all. I-yi-yi…

Once again, music saved me. Once I started playing music for real, jamming for hours on end with friends, it slowly dawned on me that only by letting it all out could I begin to express myself. As a musician I am still learning to think, play and filter simultaneously. How else can I expect to keep it fresh?

It is easy to forget that ideas are common property. Hanging onto ideas limits their potential. Ideas often need other ideas to realise their worth. We need to air all of our ideas, good and bad, so they can be fully revealed.  The good thing about a bad idea is it is only an idea. Once its seen for what it is, no one will waste much time with it.

Its a much used metaphor, but I like to think of my life as a garden where ideas are the seeds. Some grow and flourish. Some never germinate. Some ideas are eternal, others may be equally brilliant but gone in seconds. And so on. And clearly it is not my garden!

After all these years I’m not much wiser but I hope I’m a little more grateful. I pray that the ideas keep on coming. I believe they will.

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