I'm amazed how there seems to be absolutely no idea, no perfect sentence, no brilliant wisp of words so profound that I cannot immediately forget it if I don't write it down. I was given a digital voice recorder for my birthday last year. I thought I would use it primarily in the car, where I often write in my head and feel helpless letting the words fall away as I drive. But it's ended up being used most in the middle of the night when I'm lying in the dark, nearly asleep, my brain a jumble of thoughts that half belong to the dreams I'm about to have. I've figured out how to turn it on with no lights, babble out whatever I'm thinking, and turn it back off, all without fully waking myself up. But there are some nights, and many, many days, where I fail altogether in writing down the ideas I have, and I get distraught when I think about all the little things I've lost that way. Last night, for example, my mind was gushing with things to write about -- for this blog, for the book, for ANOTHER book -- and I was giddy just thinking about it all. So giddy that I couldn't be swept away from the giddiness for even one moment so as to record ANY of it. Surely this time, I thought, I will remember stuff. How could a few hours sleep erase these particular things? Never mind that I've believed this same thing countless times before. This time I knew I would remember every word, and would therefore greet the following morning with more creative gusto than anyone had before. Ever.
The single thing I remember today is that one of the things I wanted to write about was forgetting things I wanted to write about.
Luckily (I guess?), the very nature of my creative amnesia makes it difficult to mourn too deeply for what I've forgotten. That's how far gone the words can be within minutes of my having thought of them; There's not even a tiny hint left to remind me of how good they could have been.