I'm keeping a list, separate from the current writing projects, of ideas that I'd like to explore in writing at some point. These are seeds rather than fully-formed concepts. Some may even be more interesting as morsels for conversation but not necessarily as foundations to a story.
I have not started a new project, per se, but I am thinking that out of these ideas I may come up with a theme for the next volume of short stories. The first volume, Because She Was a Woman, was based on a conversation about a song and followed from a line in a poem a friend had shared with me years ago.
Occasionally I try to broach one of these topics in my Facebook page, but it is not always a success.
Words are funny things. They are easily misconstrued, especially online where they seem to take a life of their own and in unexpected ways.
Things break. Some, delicate little things, can not be glued back together. You may pretend you cannot see the cracks by squinting or dimming the lights. You may pretend its surface is still smooth and beautiful even as your finger bleeds, jagged glass ripping the skin apart. It is still irrevocably broken. You can't unshatter it. Is the value of the thing entirely in what it brought to your life? Do you keep the broken artifact for sentimental reasons or do you accept it is no longer the thing you once loved, let it go and dump it -- live off the memories and not the reality?
I am not entirely sure that everyone who participated in the ensuing discussion understood the deeper meaning of the words in the same way – which is the beauty of it because that makes each answer nuanced and personal. Each perception then becomes a different story – if the exercise is successful.
I didn't explain it beyond that and I received a variety of responses. The eternal optimist that believes anything can be fixed. The more pragmatic realist that recognized that sometimes you need to let go, but also that some times you must ease yourself into that state. The eternal romantic that feels that there is an almost metaphysical relationship where an understanding is achieved... (I admit being completely ignorant of such things and missing the point almost entirely, luckily my stupidity in matter of the heart doesn't affect our friendship.) And finally, the beautiful mind that introduced me to the concept of kintsugi and added a classical elegance to the conversation.
And this is precisely what I wanted to see, a network of ideas springing from a single thought and growing into as many possibilities as varied as the minds and voices added to it.
The inspiration for the original thought? An extended and unstructured journey through Pinterest that lead to re-purposed antiques -- people using damaged porcelain and glassware to make new works of art and jewelry. I wondered if these pieces of discarded heirlooms would, in turn, become heirlooms to a new generation in their newest guise.
A simple thought gave way to a larger conversation with far more possibilities than the story of a single mosaic pin made out of a broken tea cup. But even if no other stories come of this specific exercise, what interesting ideas come from it and what a perfect opportunity to learn something new – about history, life, and the people that populate your life!