I'm usually thunderstruck by the odd places that I find ideas. The car has always been a goldmine for me, something about the fluidity of thought as the landscape waves by-- no rhyme or reason, just my head working without my thoughts being truncated. That's a rare thing, especially these days when I seem to constantly have five voices in my ear (real ones, mind you) needing something, complaining or asking questions. I never quiet the other stuff enough to think.
And in recent weeks, I have been bogged down. First, with the end of the semester, then with getting the bar ready for summer, then with the 48 Hour Film Project. Now, Sarah and I are full swing into our research and grant writing process for our writing program. But there are still some days when all that I do begs the question of creativity and satisfaction and much of it seems like a band-aid. So, I look for surprises. The other night, while closing down the bar, I was talking with Don Beasley, who never fails to impress me with his mild manner and even temperament. He was telling me about the Compound, a place he and his friend Ben run that records music for local bands-- for free. As Don kept talking and telling me about his projects, I kept thinking... wow, I never knew this.
And so a plan was launched, a late-night, sleep-deprived, sober idea of a South Side project, a project to bind different groups and individuals together, a project to gain greater visibility, to help with networking, and a project that seemed so simple in its idea and yet one which seems to have escaped it all. We're still giving birth, and I don't like to talk about things until they are something I am doing. But this one's been in my head all week, and his too.
The point is, sometimes you just don't know where you'll find the answers. I found mine after cleaning the toilets on Saturday night, in the bar where I always work, with someone whom I often talk to. I think when you look for the surprise, there's always a reward waiting. We'll see if we have something to offer.