I'm in a place tonight where I've got too much bouncing around in my head to know where to start writing. Imagine a ball of string, matted and tangled, with no discernable beginning or ending. Tug over here, tug over there and you might get a little give, but this thing isn't coming untangled easily.
I want to untangle the ball, to stretch out every last string, flatten them and see what's there. I want this whole mess unjumbled and untangled, unknotted and unrolled.
What do you do with ideas all tangled together, wedged in place and immobile?
First, I try to have some patience. Scissors may loosen the ball, but they do irreparable damage. Snip, snip, snipping may be the way to end the tangle, but it's not untangling. Ideas sliced to bits, like cut string, have limited use. It's often worth the time to unravel the ideas intact.
Second, I try to remember the strings. Sometimes, when a ball of ideas gets tangled in my brain, my patience is rewarded by forgetfulness. Dropped on a dusty shelf in my mind, the tangled ideas harden. And hard, remain. Weighing down, rattling around, taking up space and doing no good. By remembering the strings, I keep them soft, which gives me hope they can, at some future date, be unraveled.
Lastly, I keep prodding. Somewhere, in there, there has to be a loose thread. One loose thread leads to another and another and before we know it the whole thing will be untangled. At that point, I'll make a flurry of blog-post, journal entries, have a fresh crop of talk topics and loads of random things to contribute to conversations. Hopefully.
What do you do when you've got a mental tangle?