Forgetting to Take My Own Advice

<em>If I can run in a silly dress, I can run with a notebook on me. </em>

Yesterday I literally forgot to take my own advice.

I left home without a notebook. When I coach people who are writing or creating something new, I tell them to have a notebook on them at all times. (Or a cell phone they can talk into and use as a recording device.) Not only is a notebook a great way to catch ideas, thoughts and impressions, it's also a heads-up to yourself that you are officially paying attention and the world around you is your material.


The notebook can be the accessory that says: We're writing now. Or simply, We're engaged in life in a new way. Even if you don't use it for months. It will get to you sooner or later.


So there I was, chugging up a merciless hill on a  listless afternoon run, and out of the sky KERPLONK -- one idea after another. One, two, three -- they dropped like playful balls of delight from heaven into my head.

It made me think of something I read by Barbara Kingsolver years ago, in which she talks about the great writing ideas she missed when she was too busy tending to babies and other daily life stuff to write them down -- and they became dust kitties that rolled under the bed to stay. But she caught enough and made it a writing life,  obviously

Well, we all do our best.

Of course I don't run with a notebook. But it's a great idea. And as the ideas came -- for blog postings and workshop ideas and god-knows-what-else, I could feel them pass through my body and roll out onto the ground and down Madrona Hill. In a panic I started to count the ideas that traveled through. There were 3. Or 4, I think.

The only thing I could remember of all my ideas that had me energized and excited and panting with creative lust -- is the one about Forgetting.

It did get me thinking about invigorating my lackluster runs with the right  contraption that fits a tiny notebook and my camera -- now that would be a cool adventure run.

But that original run got me thinking about how slippery memory is: Forgetting how that great movie or favorite book ended; or what that book was about (I'll remember a scene and basta); what day it was; the name of my favorite song that has a "p" in there somewhere; what I did last weekend; Or, I might forget if I had that conversation or just played it out so lucidly in my mind that i's almost as if it did happen.

Then I remembered Billy Collins' poem, Forgetfulness -- which makes it all seem okay.