The Daily Scroll was created for visitors who want to learn more about all three. It’s bursting with imaginative micro-articles, cartoons & passages from the writings of authors & artists.

Fantasizing,Fotos,Fridays offer pictures chosen to stimulate our imaginations, awaken inspiration & allow creativity free rein to invent theories or micro-stories based on what we see. Imagination-Exercising entries--which appear on whatever day they feel like--provide a few words as inspiration for our creativity. Both are fun!

Please comment below when inspired by ideas, suggestions or reactions!

Or email me at,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Other Swiss Army Knife

We all have at least one swiss army knife.

Probably not this one

Wenger Giant Swiss Army Knife: 85 tools, 110 uses, 100% bonkers
"…absurdly stuffed Swiss Army Knife: over two pounds in weight and nearly nine inches across, it has 85 different tools and 110 ways to use 'em...    $800.00"

Talking about the one you were given in elementary school is "safe"

as is the one you later learned to use in scouts & have used ever since.

Mentioning the swiss army knife inside your brain, not so much safe. 

This in spite of expressions like, "She's sharp-witted." or "He's got a mind like a steel trap." Only small children will imagine we have a tiny mouse trap inside our heads.

Okay, there's your best buddy but they already know about that off-kilter way you look at things and how you express your reactions. They've got it too. Looking at the world differently from your other friends and family probably brought you together.

But claiming our minds are like swiss army knives? Most people won't try to debate this--they'll just wisk around the other side of the jeans rack as fast as they can. Preferably before you prove your point by opening the top of your skull to show off that Wenger Giant. 

Yes, that would be strange... Please don't back away. My brain is full of imagination, not teensy knives. Wanna see? ...Phooey! Lost another one.

Back on track. We were all gifted with a brain capable of astonishing multitasking and filled with so much data we sometimes need our internal version of Mr. Peabody's "Way-back Machine" to recall details or even an entire incident. (Associated scents help us recall memories, by the way.)

We all dream during the REM stage of our sleep. (REM=rapid eye movement)  Yes, all of us do, even those who never remember their dreams when they wake. If I remember right scientists say the building blocks of dreams are memories, issues not yet resolved usually from the previous day and current sensory input. We may also be gifted with unexpected insight and guidance. Viable solutions to the real life problems in our waking world. Hence the advice, "sleep on it."

For example, you dream that you're chocolate melting into a candy bar mold. Only to wake up and find the kitten curled up on your chest, your spouse's head on your shoulder, and the beagle wedged between your knees and ankles. As you gently shift souces of excess warmth, thoughts kick in. Heatwave... 3rd day... lightweight shirt... TWO water bottles... icepack on neck... ooh... Uh...Mmph... electric bill...get car's A/C chec...

Last Friday on FFF #4, I wrote... "we have the freedom to create as many scenarios as we wish from whatever raw materials we choose..."

There's a never-ending supply of fascinating "stuph" stuffed into our versatile brains and "room" to stuph in even more. And that's "just" our brains. We're surrounded by an infinite variety of "raw material". First, everything to which we have sensory access in Creation. Second, and increasingly, everything we have access to via human endeavor --whether we want it or not. 

Each bit is waiting for us to notice it when we're conscious. Or, close enough to conscious to get on with it. 

"Each bit is waiting.." Did you find my wording uncomfortably anthropomorphic?  Maybe you're reading the wrong blog.*   

We may tweeze and examine, or split something apart gently in search of its origin. Or study the movements of a hawk, the sparkle in a child's eyes, the sniffing of a dog on a trail we can't sense--only guess at by the animal's actions. Fascinated we may even scribble a word or three. (If you write it down, you're more likely to remember.) We sniff, taste, touch if carefully. Poison ivy! Personal space issues! No matter where we are or what we're  else doing. We only need be observant about everything selected things around us--including other people--to enrich our lives and stimulate our imagination. 

Immersing ourselves in our environments may seem like nothing more than a time well to some. EgoBoogling is a time well! The practice I've been describing isn't, whether you make practical use of the experiences you've gathered up like wildflowers. O savor on your own. Once you get the hang of it, the practice is virtually effortless. More trouble remembering to turn it off when necessary, than to turn it on.

I hope you give this a try, not once but many times. Pass what you've experienced on to others. Use relevant bits in classes, at home or at meetings. Where possible, don't just describe the hawk's drift along the thermals. Add hints about your physical, even your emotional reactions at a given moment. The shiny leaves, the itch, the feelings of stupidity and doom. 

Of course, you can't insert your experiences randomly into every conversation. If you do, you'll find yourself involved in far fewer conversations as friends flee your imminent encroaching on their personal hearing space.

Much of which you've taken note may find a comfy home inside your memories, next to be noticed in a dream, a fascinating image or a flash of inspiration. I hear on good authority that everything we've experienced remains somewhere in our thoughts. Maybe if we shake our heads vigorously, out will pop the elusive image of our tenth birthday cake.  If desperate, we could visit the paint shop and clamp our heads... Yeah. Maybe not. 

Unless we're misers, we don't gather up stuff just to store it. If we're creative--and we all are--we can select and blend images and every other type of experience into something new. And free!**

Myriads of sensory experiences--not just from nature--are waiting in our seemingly barren offices, sidewalks and staircases, supermarkets, car washes. Thousands upon thousands of words from conversations, books, media. Allow your inspiration and imagination to pick whatever they wish. No limits. No boundaries. It's all free. Never tell the "I & I buddies" to put something back.   ;-P

Creativity will pitch in without your prompting. Don't set limits. Don't clamp down. Accept. Nothing yet? No pushing! Toss that wonderful pile of experiences up into the air like a pitchfork full of hay. Eat dinner. Do your homework, work on tomorrow's report, listen to a concert, play with your pet. Do anything but push. Remember the brain multitasks. Creativity & imagination work best when you don't stare at them, tapping your foot.

Just before you go to bed (pets shut of the room tonight), later in a dream, the next morning as you dump yogurt on your cereal--or your coffee if you're not yet awake-- a line of poetry or a lyric, a new image, the beginnings of a tune or an unexpected link between seeming disparate thoughts will gift themselves. 


For more on how to gather the good stuph:

"Discover YOUR place in the world!"

And the Places of Things, Joy, Living Beings, Curiosity, Thoughts. All in your world...

"Discover YOUR place in the world!"  Photo: Brain Pickings

Maria Popova owns the "Brain Pickings" blog.
You can have her blog entry issues emailed to you. Cool, huh?

*     "Maybe you're reading the wrong blog."   No, please! Don't go! Give me another chance! It'll get weirder!
**   Unlike those expensive natural food juicer/blenders "Hurry! Call now, and we'll send you two!" (for the price of ten blenders).

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love receiving comments! I also love names, sigs, avatars & other handles.Thanks muchly!