Where Ideas Come From

This article is adapted from a speech I presented at a ToastMasters meeting

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How many of you struggle with coming up with ideas? I spent the whole month thinking about what to write for a speech. I wanted to stay away from giving lessons since that is what I do for a living. After all the whole purpose for me being in ToastMasters is to grow beyond the confines of my comfort zone. That’s it Comfort Zones! No I said to myself that would be lecturing. I will in the future perhaps?

Time was growing short. It was Saturday already and nothing. I had to keep my son occupied so I took him to a community pool to go swimming. I decided to take my notebook to see if I could come up with something during that time.

When we arrived I wanted my son to have lunch before he went swimming. I had a little fight with him because as soon as he saw the pool he wanted in. Reluctantly he said he wanted a hotdog. I got him a hotdog and an orange juice and I had cheese sticks with a beer. We sat down and ate and after making him take just two more bites he ran off to the pool. I cleaned off the table and left his orange juice for him to drink later. I settled into my chair under the cover of the bar area, and took out my notebook and pen. I then stared at the blank page. About ten minutes later a fly came buzzing in and circled the table where I sat. At first it was wide circles. He orbited the table as if he was checking everything out. He was flying at about head height which provoked the normal shoo fly motion from me. I sometimes think flies intentionally do this. If they get swatted at they think there is something good nearby that we are protecting. I then noticed he was lower and his circles were more focused towards the other side of the table.  It became clearer to me as his orbits become smaller and more focused that my son’s orange juice had become the object of this fly’s desire.

He started to fly around the plastic cup and then landed on the rim for about a second and took off again. He did this several times each time with a longer stay on the rim of the cup. He finally came to rest on the rim. I believe he was enjoying what was left on there from the last sip that my son had taken. I then noticed this fly leaning headfirst into the cup to try to drink off the inside wall. It was obvious what was about to happen and a few seconds later he fell head first into the orange juice below. I watched as he frantically tried to climb up the side only not being able to get a grip and sliding back into the Juice. This continued for several minutes. As time went by he became slower and slower. He would at times completely stop and then he would have a burst of activity. He was very tired and was fighting for his life with every ounce of energy he had left.

I started having a great respect for this creature. He was willing to risk it all to get what he most desired at the time. This is something many of us humans only dream of doing. He now was motionless. He finally gave up and was ready to face the fate of his decision. I intervened at this time and poured him and some of the orange juice out onto the table. I threw out the rest so my son didn’t drink it. I then watched the fly crawl out of the puddle of juice. I never realized the beauty of these creatures. His big multi paneled eyes were metallic emerald green. As he lifted his wings to dry in the gentle warm summer breeze I saw a rainbow of red, blue, orange, green, and pink from different angles of the sunlight hitting them very much like an opal. After a few moments it happened. He took flight once again and circled the table several times. I thought it was out of joy for still being alive but then I noticed he was getting closer and closer to my beer? (((((SMACK))))).

The moral of this story is not pursuing your desires to your death nor is it to not be lured by the sweet temptations that are placed before us in our lives though you could easily take it that way. It’s not that you can find beauty in just about anything. You can. It is not even that I need more adult company when I go out but I could understand why you would think that. No the moral of this story is that an idea can really just come buzzing in from thin air…….




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