What is it about the bathroom (and shower in particular) that encourages deep philosophical thoughts?? Do the thoughts lurk there, waiting to catch us unawares and then strike like a lightning bolt to the head? During the frustration that was my University degree this would constantly happen to me. I liked to mull things over and let my ideas marinate so I’d leave my essay while I took some time out for a shower… One minute I’d be happily relaxing in the hot water then ZING – the perfect sentence would shoot through my mind! The perfect order of words that I knew would tie all my arguments together; the perfect sentence that was so profound, so deep and meaningful; it seemed destined to assure me an A grade AND explain half the problems in today’s society. And I would TEAR out of that bathroom like a cat on crack, running to my computer so that I could, still dripping with water, attempt to capture that golden light of a sentence.
I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert (author of “Eat, Pray, Love”), describes the idea of ‘the genius’ in this clip.
She perceives works of art (music, literature, art, dance etc.) to be created through a collaboration with a person AND some external power, outside of us. This takes the pressure from the artist “to BE” a genius, and instead shares equally the glory and downfalls of all works created between the person and this outside entity.
She brilliantly describes this external force, this genius, as something akin to “Dobby the house elf” and I can totally visualise the little genius gremlin specially assigned to my case. Sometimes the poor little critter must just be banging his head against the bathroom wall as it watches me stumble through life. But I do wonder, why does it so often visit me in the bathroom? And I KNOW I am not the only one this happens to, because I’ve seen a Facebook group called “coming up with great ideas in the shower,” and yes, I did join it. I also found this little gem on Facebook:
So my theory on why our genius gremlins hide in the bathroom is this: it’s one of the only spaces where they can actually be heard. In our busy lives, the time we give ourselves to have a shower can be the only private and silent time we afford ourselves. Whether you believe that the fantastic brain storming you are capable of achieving in the shower is due to a connection with a genius gremlin, God, your inner wisdom or some mixture of the three, one thing is certain: We REALLY ought to make time to meditate and journal!! I, for one, think these voices deserve a more attentive ear than we currently bestow them during our shower time. And so it’s rather fitting that I finish this post while sitting in my bathroom (this actually happens to be the only place in the apartment that I get internet). I open my mind, open my life, to my little genius gremlin. Whenever you want buddy, hit me with it!!
Where the magic happens… I hope.