Sharing Old Ideas

Saturday July 11, 2020

Starting this notebook means returning to a large and ever-expanding set of ideas for things that I’ve wanted to write for ages, but never have gotten around to. While returning to old thoughts is pleasant, it often means never quite doing them justice. After thinking about the ideas in Keep Pedaling for almost 5 months, 450 words felt incomplete, insufficient.

To write down an idea has a finality to it, like an insect under a glass pane in the harsh museum lighting. Returning to an old thought in conversation is like talking with an old friend. To put it to paper is to bid farewell, at least for a while.

New ideas are exciting and fun and easy — I wrote Crow Tools in one sitting, the same day that I read the source materials, and I was happy with it. Not so for most of my entries, which having been trapped inside my head for years, have an image of themselves that is dissonant with the words that appear. But waiting for the right words to come just makes the dissonance worse, so I write.

An incomplete farewell is always melancholy, but never as final as it feels — significant ideas will return to me, if they still have something more to say. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.