Swiss cheese,the creative brain and the elastoplast scenario

A short while ago I was watching a tv documentary about the creative brain.    The fancy graphics showed a brain with zillions of super-highways of connecting tissues, tightly packed together.    Ah-ha thought I, smugly,  leaning back into my sofa with a beatific expression on my face, an example of the extraordinary thinking power of us creatives.    I sat bolt upright when the know-it-all 12 year old  scientist announced that this was the structure of a NON-creative brain.   “What, surely not?”………. we creatives are possessed with extraordinary amount of brain power and call upon this vast resource to produce extraordinary and wonderful things to enhance our surroundings and the world in general.

I hardly dared look as the graphics changed to show the creative brain but there it was and it looked extraordinarily like Emmenthal cheese with whopping great gaps in its structure…..huge black holes of nothingness.    I stared at the tv screen, trying hard to grasp what this meant and how that affected the thinking of someone, like myself, who has built a career out of creativity.   How much thinking plunged headlong into those holes?  How many bright ideas  have fallen into the crevasses never to be seen again, what fate befell them?  There didn’t seem to be much of a brain left and I wondered how us creatives managed to do anything other than breathe, sleep and eat.

The scientist (now 11 years old and getting younger by the minute) explained that ideas form around the edges of the black holes, poised to leap.    Random thoughts, ideas, nonsense, words of a song,  thoughts of what you last had to eat,  the colour of the coat you’d quite like to buy, the rain falling, your favourite crisps, anything at all that is cluttering up your head all gather around the rim and gaze into the abyss.   Eventually something extraordinary happens –  for some unknown reason all these thoughts/ideas/impressions  make a spectacular leap into the void, presumably shouting weeeeeeeeeee as they propel themselves forward without a parachute.   They don’t, however, fall to oblivion, but grasp each other across the void , a Golden Gate bridge of strange and rather random connections , creating entirely new ideas and thoughts.   The  “thinking out of the box” that creatives are known for  is, in fact  the offspring of random couplings thrown together in space and landing as fully formed ideas freshly born and ready to be channelled into some creative enterprise.    A lot of these thoughts are immediately rejected…..the red coat singing “Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside”, smelling of cheese and onion crisps getting a soaking in a downpour of raspberry jus is not going to win the next Booker or Turner prize (okay well it actually might be a contender for the Turner prize) but those ideas that remain form a many layered strata from which “diamonds” can be mined.

All this begs the question…..what happens when you need to make a connection which uses the M1 motorway of connecting tissue which just doesn’t exist because of the ruddy great hole in this gorgonzola of a brain?   What happens if you need a bridge but there isn’t one?    I now realise that I experience this daily and my non existing dual-carriageway is the one that I need for  packet opening.   I can’t for the life of me open packets.    I resort to extraordinarily levels of violence involving knives, scissors , teeth  and lots of “f” words to try and extricate ham from its plastic wrapping.      I can feel my thoughts scrabbling around in my head trying to find the connections that instruct my mind and fingers on what to do next when all I can call upon is a  vast “black hole of nothingness” which is not going to help me one little bit.      This all came to a head recently when I needed an Elastoplast for a blister on my heel……could I get into the damn thing?  could I hell!   I examined it, my brow wrinkled in puzzlement, I turned it left and right…..nothing…… I turned it upside down …..nothing….I turned myself upside down….nothing…..I used scissors to trim around the edges of the wrapping…..nothing…… I used my whopping, very sharp, very pointy cooks knife  to stab the elastoplast  at its core and try to extricate it like a winkle out of its shell…..nothing……I slipped…. I stabbed myself….the blood flowed…….the Elastoplast, now blood soaked was released….Eureka….released just in the nick of time to apply to my cut and stem the flow……. success but tarnished with the need for another plaster for my heel blister……I resorted to an extra pair of socks instead.

So, all you creatives out there, you will now know that your failure to do a simple task is owing to a whopping great gap in your bonce.    My advice….employ a non-creative person on such occasions, a person who possesses  a spaghetti junction of roads, pot hole free and tarmacked to within an inch of its life.   Okay, so you may not know how to fold paper to fit into an envelope but by jingo you can write crackin’ verse or paint a vibrant picture…..that’ll do me!