sources of Inspiration [that have yet to lead to anything tangible]

Well, I’d had something of a post started… but then my computer, whose battery is 98% dead, semi-unplugged itself (the cord and port are both bent and have to be twisted a very particular way in order to maintain a connection) …. and it shut down and I lost what I had. Boo. The point was:

I love movies that make me want to make stuff. Example: The Science of Sleep. I love Stephanie’s felt creations and Stephane’s inventions, like the 3D glasses that make life 3D, and the one-second time travel machine. I’m particularly jealous of Stephane’s dreams. Mine are incredibly boring, and generally in black and white. At best, they’ll have very dull, muted colors. There’s only one bright, vivid dream I can recall, and it only lasted a few seconds. Boo.

Another that immediately comes to mind is Stranger than Fiction. The visualizations of Harold Crick’s constant calculations is inspiring. Why, I don’t know. But it makes me want to bust out a Moleskine and start doodling lots of nothings. My favorite part (artistically speaking) is the end credits. Those make me want to crank open good ol’ Photoshop (CS2, thank you very much) and seeing what kinds of pictures I can destroy -in a good way, of course.

Due to the nature of my creative habits, I don’t have time to start any right now. I like to start around 9:00 or 10, and work into the wee hours of the morning. When I stay up late, I become increasingly uninhibited, and I also get more ideas for creating things. Is anyone else this way? Now that I’m thinking about it, it reminds me of a book I’ve been reading for probably over a year, The Brain that Changes Itself. I actually finished it yesterday. The end told a story of a woman who was born without most of the left side of her brain. Now, if most of us lost the use of half our brain, it would mean all sorts of trouble, from personality changes to paralysis, depending on the area that was damaged. But since this woman was born without it, she had nothing to lose. The right side of her brain made up for what the left side would’ve done. She’s limited in her ability to understand abstract concepts, but she’s great with numbers and can walk and move and speak normally. It’s pretty fascinating if you ask me. But that story was a just a side note- sorry. The real point was this: when we have whole brains, the right and left sides interact with and balance each other. The balance also inhibits. Doctors who’ve examined that woman, for example, believe her concrete reasoning abilities are so strong because the missing part of her frontal cortex that would normally balance and inhibit that capability is missing. Sweet. Well, .. there are people who’ve had various parts of their brain damaged and suddenly became much more “artistic” than they were before the accident. Whaa? The damaged part didn’t balance the “artistic” part anymore – and therefore also didn’t inhibit it. The book references another which I’ve seen before and flipped through, but haven’t bought [yet]- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The author recommends that people try to turn off  [or at least quiet] the left side of their brains in order to facilitate drawing.

I think that’s kind of what happens to me at night. I get tired, my brain stops functioning quite as well as when I’m bright eyed, coherent and well-behaved, and I become a little freer with what I’m doing. I also become a little more impulsive/inattentive. I have a hard time keeping at just one thing and will start another, then work back and forth between the two things. Then check facebook [multitasking, right?]. Then maybe gather materials to start something else, then finally decide that my eyes are crossing too much to keep going and expect anything decent to be produced, so I cave and go to sleep. I’d like to access that relaxed inhibition without being sleep-deprived, and preferably without any substances or Adderall.

On a related note, another book I’ve recently started [but have decided to wait until I continue, so that Lynn Ann Fruitcake and I can read it at the same time and have psychological discussions about the book’s psychological  implications] is called Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. One of the cases detailed in the beginning is about a man [ a physician, actually.. maybe a neurologist? It’s been a couple weeks since I read it] who got struck by lightning, had a near death experience with a bright light and everything, and after a couple weeks returned to work with no major damage done. He had a few memory problems in the weeks he was off work, but that was it. Well, a few weeks after that, he suddenly became obsessed with piano compositions. He started listening to classical music nonstop, and began hearing compositions in his head. He started taking piano lessons so he could play what he was hearing. It actually became so obsessive that he got divorced, which is sad. But the point is- how on earth? Sorry to spend so much time on that story without knowing anything else about it — but when I get further into it, if it explains anything else -I’ll report.

On another tangential note, I saw a 60 Minutes or 20/20 or something recently about a British man who’s mentally handicapped (I think?) and blind, but a savant with a piano – he is awesome. He goes around playing benefit concerts all the time, as well as playing at nursing homes for elderly people, many of whom have dementia and haven’t spoken in years, and his playing makes them start singing. How cute is that? And heartwarming.

Soo.. I think that’s actually about it for now. I apologize for the meandering stroll I took down unrelated roads. But what can I do? One of my nicknames is Tangent, after all.


~ by marcydrake on April 24, 2010.

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