irritating opportunities

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

unpolished thoughts 2/9/2019

I’m irritated right now.

I don’t completely understand why just yet, so it must be something important.

How do you know if an idea is any good?

Ideas pop up here and there. Some we keep, some we toss.

What do we do with the ones that we keep?

Sometimes we surrender to them completely. We let them create new sensations throughout our body that drive us immediately into new actions. We are instantly converted to the new religion.

Sometimes ideas just irritate us and we want to know why. We can’t allow them to disappear until we have discovered what they want.

What do you do when new ideas pop up?

In my early twenties I once made an electronic recording of “zillionth notes”.

If you aren’t a musician, just understand that eighth notes are faster than quarter notes, sixteenth notes are faster than eighth notes, etc.

So “zillionth notes” go by really fast.

I used a simple computer program to arrange long chains of extremely short sounds, one after the other. I altered the available variables to make each sound as different as possible from the one before it, to minimize the possibility that they would tend to bleed into one another.

The recording I made was around an hour long.

I liked to listen to it super loud, over and over. Road trips were ideal and I enjoyed the looks I got at stop lights when I left the windows open. Sometimes I played it on repeat at night while I was sleeping.

I was convinced that I was somehow reorganizing my brain. Looking back, I probably was.

(I can’t prove it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that experiment didn’t permanently affect how I process sound and time.)

One could certainly debate whether or not that experiment was ultimately a good idea. But in any case, it was an idea that persisted inside me to the point of creating action – an action that rearranged me.

Every idea has that potential.

When something occurs to you offhand and you quickly dismiss it – did it ever occur to you that you might have just narrowly missed an entirely different life?

How many times does that happen per day?

How available are you for the ideas that would change everything? When you have an idea like that, does that become the basis for quickly discarding it? Or does it make you pause to think a little longer?

(This isn’t a moral question, by the way, just an area where you could develop more awareness if you chose to do so.)

In my case, I think there’s a good reason for why I let today’s idea irritate me long enough to spell out these thoughts. These days I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to rearrange many things to live more of the life I want.

Obviously, I have to be intelligent about what I rearrange and what I don’t, but maybe there’s a new experiment bubbling up here that could help me understand myself better.

Perhaps it would be useful to start reexamining my relationship to the things that irritate me.

After all, sometimes they have a very good reason for doing so.

I don’t want to miss those opportunities.


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