“Set your ideas into the wild.” It was just a sentence fragment I read on a blog last year, but now, all this time later, it still resonates. What a wonderful image–taking your ideas and setting them free against an autumn sky, to soar away.
You lose control over them, but you never really were in control of your ideas. You just kept them, like fireflies in a jar, until you had filled your eyes with wonder, and then you let them go, because they weren’t really yours to begin with. But you never forgot the glow in the dark and the churn of comfort and power you got from opening that jar and having the fireflies crawl to the rim, lift their wings and blink up into the grassy-smelling dark of night.
Our ideas are ours to nourish, marvel over, and set free into the wild. You write a book, you teach a class and your ideas float across space and time, to be caught, transformed and set free again, in different shapes and textures. You may not even recognize it when it comes back, but as it passes you on the street, dressed in a suit and formal with design, you’ll smell a hint of summer grass and catch a slight wink of light, and the memory will still be there.
The experience of recognition, the experience of power and joy, that makes setting free your ideas all the more worthwhile.
–Quinn McDonald has a jar of ideas on her desk. She remembers it once held fireflies.