Water on Glass
In our house, I get up first every morning and take a shower. It’s an important and creative time for me; my brain is rested and there are no distractions. By the time I finish my morning ritual, I generally know what I need to know to get through the day ahead. To that end, there are always Post-it notes in the bathroom drawer for me to jot down inspirations, reminders, and notes for Steve.
The only downside to this time of creative energy is that I sometimes forget just exactly what it is that I am supposed to be doing in the bathroom. To compensate for that, I’ve had to become regimented in my daily ablutions, as I sometimes find myself completely lost as to what I have and have not already done. Did I wash my hair? Face? Take my pills? Brush my teeth? By ordering all that, I allow my brain the time to wander in the more chaotic channels where inspiration often dwells.
On a recent morning, I turned off the shower, grabbed the black towel (Steve’s is always white) I’d tossed over the sliding door of the shower and began to dry off. I’ve been nearsighted almost all my life and worn contact lenses since I was 13. My vision is terrible without them, and I don’t put them in until after my shower. The one useful fact about being nearsighted is that it allows me to see things very close up—almost as if I were looking at the world through a magnifying glass.
As I dried my face on this particular morning, I was standing quite close to the glass door of the shower, and my attention was completely captured by the drops of water that had collected on them during my shower. As one droplet of water would coalesce into the ones around it, that drop would grow heavier and heavier, until finally, feeling the effects of gravity, it would begin to roll downward, picking up speed with each new droplet added.
Those rolling drops of water opened up a whole thought process on how ideas are created, nurtured, and begin to grow and evolve as they connect with others. Five minutes later, when I finally stepped out of the shower (Steve always wonders what takes me so long!), I knew I wanted to explore that thought a little more.
As much as most of us would like to think that our good ideas are completely original, it’s practically impossible for that to be entirely true. From the moment we are born (and probably even before that) we begin to absorb information. All of our senses work overtime to supply our minds with the vast library it will use to understand and live in the world around us, to make decisions, to create art, and to be human. All inspiration, is built on that which came before it—even our own personal “ah ha” moments are a culmination of countless bits of seeming trivia configured in a way that means something to us.
Does that mean there are no new ideas in the world? Not at all! It does mean that even our most gifted thinkers do not exist in isolation. Like those droplets of water I observed in the shower, the seed of a great idea gathers strength and energy from the world around it. Our connections to one another are crucial to our ability to create new ideas, and to provide the nurture necessary for them to become a reality.
As the founders of CAMP Rehoboth, Steve and I are sometimes pleasantly surprised to see that it has grown up to be very like the original concept for the organization. Taking it from that original dream to the reality it is today has always been a collaborative effort involving the entire community. A good idea with no support behind it never has a chance to become what it was intended to be.
Over the 23 years CAMP Rehoboth has been in existence, both of us, and most of our long time leaders, have learned how to filter the vast amount of information that comes to us from all directions as we work to continually make it possible for CAMP Rehoboth to better serve our community. As is generally a good rule for how to be successful at anything, listening is the key—and then knowing what to do with the information once we have heard it. Often it is filed away to become a part of our knowledge base; occasionally it is the catalyst for a whole new concept or program that—again like my little droplets—finally gathers enough strength and support to move under its own gravity.
Like most organizations, we are always on the look-out for creative and original thinkers who also have the ability to shepherd a budding idea through the rough terrain that inevitably arises when something new is being developed. Our current Board of Directors and other leaders in our organization bring to their jobs a level of passion and commitment and support that amazes me every time I work with them. At the same time, in order to create and develop new programs, we need to always be open to the idea of trying something we’ve never done before.
I know I’ve said this many times before: bring us your new ideas, but be prepared to stay and make them a reality. Like all non-profits, we have limited resources and staff; we depend on volunteers for a tremendous amount of the work we do. Every new program needs new leadership and guidance to make it happen.
By the way, for anyone interested in becoming a CAMP Rehoboth volunteer, the next Volunteer Orientation will be on Tuesday, November 12, at 6 p.m., at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. Dinner is included, and the evening will feature the very first Volunteer Orientation Game of Jeopardy.
Thanks to amazing support for this community, 2013 has been another great year for CAMP Rehoboth. We are blessed to a part of such an extraordinary family. In order for us to be able to continue this work and to create the programs we need in the future, please become a member of CAMP Rehoboth if you are not, or renew or upgrade your membership if you already are. Also, as this year comes to an end we will be launching a new Sponsorship program which will make it easier to sign up for an entire year of event support at one time. When making financial giving plans for the coming year, please keep CAMP Rehoboth in mind.
We continue to be thankful for the creativity and the love that our CAMP family shares with one another. We never know when the next “droplet” of inspiration will appear. When the time is right, it will, I’m sure, be clear as water on glass.
Murray Archibald, CAMP Co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth, is an artist in Rehoboth Beach.