This morning, I happened to look out my window and see the fleeting silhouette of a hummingbird. It was gone in a split second, and for a moment, I wondered if I’d even seen it.
But I can recall the outline of that small, butterfly-like bird like a snapshot in my mind. Yes, I saw it.
Sometimes, my thoughts are like that hummingbird—or movement in my peripheral vision. Like dreams from the night before fading from my consciousness, I have to write them down when they come to me, or lose them.
I’ve had the experience, over the years, of having insights that seem so profound at the moment, I believed I’d always remember them. But then, they would fade away. It feels like these thoughts, images, and ideas are like brightly colored fish in the ocean of my unconscious. A current will bring one of them up near the surface, where I see it hanging suspended in the dark water. Then, in a little flash of color, it dives so deep again that I can’t recall it.
Then, years later, it resurfaces, and I recognize it. I know the insight is not new, that I’d lost it, and if I want to remember it, I must write it down immediately.
I used to try to capture all of my insights and ideas by carrying a notebook and writing them down whenever I had them. I did nothing with many of them, because there’s an energy that happens when they’re fresh that I need to ride like a wave to be able to stay in it, and write from the point of the thought to its conclusion.
Like this morning. I had no idea what I would write in my blog. I saw the hummingbird, made the association with fleeting thoughts and insights, and knew I better catch the wave while there was still energy behind it, and see where it took me.
I can’t catch them all. But I can pay attention, and choose when to follow a wave of thought made by a bright, little fish—or a hummingbird—and see where it takes me.