Cultivating Ideas

If you have been reading my blog for long, you’re part of an extremely elite (read as: small) group.  That aside, you probably have noted that, often, this blog contains somewhat bizarre, stream-of-consciousness drivel that suggests I may not be a writer at all but, instead, a maniac with a web site. The suggestion could be on target, but there really is a motive to my madness.

In my attempts to cultivate interesting ideas, I have to explore a lot of very bad ones. And I have to write about them in order to keep my fingers nimble and prepared to deal with the few really good ones that come along.

Sometimes, I explore ideas that I find repulsive, simply to uncover my own feelings about them. Occasionally, an idea I initially find repugnant becomes less so or, rarely, even attractive. It’s odd, as I write this, I can’t think of such a transformation, but I know it has happened. The thing is, I find it useful and informative to allow myself to cogitate over unpleasant matters from time to time. I measure and test my biases in that way, which I think is a healthy thing to do.

Most of what I write here is short, incomplete (as in it doesn’t necessarily have a readily identifiable ending or message).  For lack of a better term, some of the writing that appears here is my way of conducting a “brain-cleansing,” removing both the wheat and the chaff in the hope of replacing them with gems. Admittedly, it rarely works, but it has become a habit, and we all know habits are hard to break.

Another way of looking at what I do here is that I plant seeds. Most do not survive to maturity and many don’t even sprout, but the few that do are carefully preserved to be used in a dish I might prepare in the future. (Have I used enough similes and metaphors yet?)

When I sat to write this morning, I was planning to write a scathing attack on chauvinistic nationalism, but this flowed from my fingers to the keyboard, instead.  See, that’s what I have to put up with.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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