Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Rememberence of Things Pasta

Where does an idea begin?

Does it begin with curiosity?  A need? Is it an explanation or defense for activity you’ve already decided to act upon?

Asking these questions, you don’t mean to imply the chemistry and electricity of the process we assign to thought.  Rather, you seek the source at which visions, suppositions, agendas, and notions converge and collide to become a tangible force beyond fact, bearing enough of the energy borne of enthusiasm to produce some additional form of activity.  You begin then by saying “it” is not an idea until “it” is acted upon in some physical way.

In your estimation, an idea must trigger enough enthusiasm or dread to serve as a catalyst for the additional behavior necessary to push the idea toward some sort of fruition.  This makes an idea a seedling, often of an unknown plant or tree form that must be nourished if only to identify it along the way to determining its potential use and value, and to whom this use and value will apply.

This botanical analogy can go only so far.  Seedlings, plants, even weeds, which are the name we give to unwanted plants, have an entelechy, a dynamic purpose coded within, urging its host toward realization and translation of its potential.  Within the acorn is the entelechy for the oak.  For all it is an unattractive pest, ivy knows what is expected of it.

Ideas may have an entelechy, waiting to unfurl, but there is no certainty an idea is so endowed.  A good many ideas are, in their way, like the things we regard as weeds, scarcely worth the fantasy on which they were written.

Like weeds, ideas appear in the strangest places, making their investigation worthwhile for that glorious and noble sense that they might provide some additional clue to the things that make our species better able to care and think for itself.

Ideas are idiosyncratic; yours may strike some as dumb.  There are occasions when “theirs” strike you as less than intelligent.  Ideas are tools.  As with such implements, the ability to use these tools is a step or two toward not mere survival but a survival with implications, meanings, realized potentials.

Many of your ideas arrive in the form of a story or in some discussion in which story is decoded beyond the stages of contemporary cryptography.  You are obliged to work on these ideas until they fit some skein of logic you recognize for its familiarity or greet as something foreign, at which point you must learn to accept them, live with their implications, or run the risk of your curiosity and enthusiasm going out on protracted strike.

Some of your best ideas to date have little or nothing to do with story as such; they are reflections on how seemingly incompatible food groupings might in fact work well.  You were in such a mood when the thought occurred to you that it would be interesting to try linguini pasta with a fruity olive oil, some sardines, raisins, and pine nuts.  No one with whom you discuss this idea seems to think much of it.

Sitting moodily over a plate of linguini with pine nuts, raisins, sardines, and garlic, you thought to add a few broccoli florets for color, whereupon you begin to wonder if you really like pasta in this manner or are enjoying it to preserve your sense of being an outsider.  Will it make you any more an outsider if you saved half the recipe for tomorrow?

If you truly enjoy it, why has it been over a year since your last experience with it?

Do you get more ideas with entelechy from inside or outside the box?


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