bad hair = good inspiration

einsteinI woke up this morning resembling Albert Einstein, my hair stuck straight up illimitably, in places it has never ventured before. Lately, this seemingly trivial occurrence has been a portent for boundless creativity – a reliable but puzzling association.

What could it mean?

Was Albert E. full of creative juices whenever he had a bad hair day? Which was, presumably, all the time, according to all the photos? Do reggae musicians ooze their artistry like squozen juice boxes, the very notes careening and blossoming all around their heads and out into the cosmic collective imagination? Do I now have to tousle my hair in order to appease the muse, like some sort of OCD ritual, before I feel comfortable sitting down at my keyboard?

Let’s hope it doesn’t go that far. I won’t question or put assumptions on this creative energy. I’ll just let it do its thing, and be grateful.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I would have killed for this diarrhea-of-the-proverbial-pen. When any kind of words coming into my brain at all would have been cause for falling on my knees and genuflecting. Yes, I’ve had some bad bouts of writer’s block. Who hasn’t?

But some very wise people got me through it, and now I understand how the ebb and flow of creative output can be okay. In fact, dry spells are good. It’s in these moments of quiet that one can look around, take it all in, observe, reflect, calculate, analyze, and then when the time comes, leap in with all one’s energy, and power it off without a second thought.

And, happily, the despair I feel during these periods can be utilized later. So, really, I am exploiting my desperation and misery for personal gain. Pretty nifty, huh?

Inspiration is a finicky thing, and most of the time I have to drop everything and rush to my computer, calling to those behind me, “I’ll be right back! I promise! I need to do something really, really quickly!” (Liar. You know it’s never quick).

So when the words disappear and the flow of liquid inspiration dries up, I need to remember that it’s all good. It will come back. In the meantime I’ll quietly savor the blank, muted moments and appreciate the down-time for what it might bring later. And while I’m at it, a good comb for teasing and a bottle of extra-hold hairspray might not be a bad idea, either.

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