The Tao of the Magpie

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Daily Prompt: Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

It’s very rare I reread a book. Or re-watch a movie. When I was a kid summer was rerun time for favorite TV shows. I hated it. I played outside instead.

I have learned about myself in the past few years some very key things, and one is that I like new. Not new in the sense that I have to buy everything new, on the contrary, my home if full of found objects rich with some else’s personal history. New as in fresh, new to me. New as in ideas. It’s the spark I’m addicted to, not the finished product. It’s the first page and all the possibilities. The blank canvas. The blinking cursor.

As a creative person I am struck with the desire, or maybe even need, to make new stuff up. I used to think it was shiny thing syndrome – in the middle of one project and, but oh, what if we did this? About something completely unrelated. ADD? Perhaps. Gifted? Let’s go with that.

This was a real problem for me. I would sit at my desk and start stories, or put together a piece of jewelry or begin painting some mixed media thing. Once it was clear in my head? Once I could ‘see’ it all the way to the end? I abandoned it. In my mind I had finished it and now I could move onto the next creation.

I would write the most amazing self-help books, my insight fresh and aha inducing. The cover of the book was beautiful, you could tell right away it was something that could, no, would change your life. Every page had something so rich it begged to be highlighted. Oprah couldn’t pull little stickee notes off her fancy highlighter fast enough to mark the wisdom in those pages. She would have to have me on her show.

The interview went swimmingly, she shook her head in amazement and just couldn’t stop saying “Wow, you’re so right, I hadn’t ever looked at it that way. This is truly a game changer.” Then we’d go out to lunch and she’d fund my next big idea.

Then I’d look down at my notebook or journal or computer screen and there’d be one sentence. All it takes is one, it’s the tinder to my overactive imagination.

Sticktoitiveness. I lack that gene.

But then I would meet people who had worked the same job for 30 years and thought my life was magical. I would talk to people struggling to figure out what they wanted to do and they would look to me for advice. I am on the other side of 40, pretty far on the other side, and I still wonder what I want to be when I grow up.

I have learned to embrace my quirks, my magpie-ness. I have had many job titles and worked in many fields. I have read copious books from self-help to historical fiction to, well everything, making me a great conversationalist at parties.

So rereading a book, even if I had the time, seems almost wasteful. There’s so much NEW out there. But if I am being honest, I might pick up Sarah Addison Allen’s, Garden Spells again. And Eckhart Tolle always seems fresh to me.

But I don’t want to even entertain having extra time, because I would surely fill it with something new.

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