Working at the Museum

Writing.  It can be a real time of soul-searching.  An idea occurs to you and you begin to put it down on paper only to think….  “I’ve heard this before.”  You can’t remember where you got it from but you know that it’s not really original.  Now it seems that you have a dilemma.  Do you go ahead and publish it without attributing it to someone?  What if I can’t remember the original wording?  There is a thin chance that you had this as a semi-original thought.  The problem is: It just sounds so familiar that you are sure you’ve heard it somewhere before.  Sigh.

This is the problem with knowledge.  We humans must store it up and pass it on.  If we had to start from scratch, we would get nowhere.  We stand on someone’s shoulders. Those peeps are standing on older shoulders ad infinitum.  It turns out that we are curators of knowledge.  Just like those folks who work at museums and come up with displays for the different exhibits, we re-present chunks of knowledge that we have accumulated.  Not just any old chunks, but the good stuff…the prime cuts off the daily bull that is presented to our minds.

Somehow these pieces of life, these distillations of thought become blessed/tainted with our distinctives.  Those of us who aspire to be creative, hold sacrosanct those times when we can take a thought and reformulate it with a semi-important difference.  This is what we hope to give.  We were here and tasted the world and “this” is what it reminded us of.

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2 Responses to Working at the Museum

  1. Cary Chandler says:

    You know, I was just thinking that same thing!

  2. “great minds” and all

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