Rock Me, Amadeus

I believe we all have an equal amount of genius inside of us; some folks have all of their genius in one area, while most of us have a bit of genius in many areas.

My grandfather, for one, was an amazing mathematician. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1940 and worked as a civilian chemist at Mare Island Naval Base until his retirement in the late 70’s. The man had a mind like a steel trap, and could discuss mathematical equations and hypotheses with a passion unequaled in anyone I have ever met.

But God forbid he actually had to carry on a social conversation with one of his three daughters or one of his many grandchildren. It was sheer agony on everyone’s part, except his, of course, because his “genius” was not in the ability to decipher and adapt to the myriad subtleties and subtext of casual social conversation. As a result, if you were lucky enough to get snared into one of his dissertations about some mathematical genius from the last century, you were in it for the long haul. I admit I actually considered feigning sleep or a seizure on more than one occasion just to remove myself from the discussion…

Which brings us (assuming you’re still with me here) to my set of genius-ness, or lack thereof.

As a jewelry designer, I try to create new pieces and new designs periodically, both when the mood strikes and when I am feeling like it’s time to mix things up a bit. Tonight was one of those nights. I have a fabulous design in mind. Perhaps not something that will alter humankind as we know it, but still, pretty cool.  Apparently, my genius has other plans.

For the past several days, I have been intermittently trapped at my bench working with my small torch attempting some fairly basic work with connections. Tragically, I have been alternating between melt-downs (literally!) and solder flow issues. Aaargh!!!

I know what I want to do, yet the tools as my disposal are either unable or unwilling to allow me to reach my goal.  This reminds me of a quote from the 1980-something movie “Amadeus”, in which one of the characters (Amadeus’s nemesis, Salieri), says,

“All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn’t want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?”

Ok, I’ll admit, I’m being a bit dramatic.  But damn, it’s frustrating!  How do I take what I want to accomplish and, with the little talent or genius I have, convince my tools and materials to cooperate with the desire within me to produce a particular piece?

How do you deal with it when your genius decides to take an unannounced leave of absence?  Do you work through it, forcing your genius out of hiding?  If so, how?!  Share your secrets! Or do you decide that everyone deserves a little break now and then, and just hope that somehow your genius will become intrigued with your attempts to create or solve some piece of your puzzle and come out of hiding to help you achieve your goals?  Or, like me, do you hope that your genius will recognize your current state of ineptitude and take pity long enough to step up to the plate and get the job done?

For now, my answer is to put it all aside and admit temporary defeat. Tomorrow may, I hope, provide my genius with a renewed vigor and sense of cooperation, and allow my vision to become a reality.  But, until my genius decides to show up again, I am off to distract myself with a bit of fluff – Abe Lincoln, Vampire Killer – in the hopes that the frustrated author in me will not surface…