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The curse of the shiny thing

The curse of the shiny thing (drawing of tablet weaving & text "Oooh, shiny thing!") ©Johanna Ringe 2023 www.johannaringe.com

“Oooh, that’s nice!” Said my brain, forgetting everything about what I was going to read, write or do. My eyes had fallen on some marketing materials that were coming out of our paper. It was an advert for handbags. The bags were terribly ugly, but they had one feature that caught my interest: a detachable strap with snap hooks. The particular strap in question had an intricately woven pattern in drab colours. In itself it was ugly, but the idea that formed in my head was not. Again, I had fallen prey to the curse of the shiny thing!

It is a very old curse indeed.

Not only have I been inflicted with this particular curse from my earliest childhood, but I suppose it has been around as long as humankind has. There must have been that cave woman who, considering the offerings in front of her, got distracted by the tiny red feather which had fallen on the ground beside the feast. Casting her duties aside, she got fully invested in the task of using the red feather in the most ostentatious way possible. Oh yes, that tiny red feather was a shiny thing.

It’s not all about beauty or showing off.

If you consider a certain Renaissance artist which cultivated the habit of scribbling futuristic machinery on the margins of his sketchbooks, you will certainly agree. Devising more effective ways of killing people in a war has no beauty at all. It is however the symptom of the brain of a certain kind. A brain that can be enthusiastic about anything. Everything and anything can appeal in such a way that all duty is forgotten in the process of discovering the new shiny thing.

If the shiny thing is not new it can be used in a new way.

Coming back to the ugly handbags I must admit that I had been sewing straps with snap hooks just the other week. So, the shiny thing that caught my attention in the advert was something else. It was the intricately woven pattern. Where I had been using prefabricated webbing in one colour, I could be using something sophisticated instead. Immediately my mind turned to the Renaissance fair, obviously! , where the tablet weaving women with their adorned garments had evidently made a deep impression on me. By the way, this has been 20 years ago.

My brain loves to connect the most disparate things, just to avoid boredom.

This is it: my brain gets bored easily, so it jumps on every shiny thing that promises diversion. Do not misunderstand, I do not have ADHD nor ADD, I have just a very fast brain. I have – for example – truly understood preparing a meal, so while doing this my brain is bored. And a bored brain is a creative brain.

To the bored brain invention, recollection and worrying are the same.

Because creativity in your brain and for your brain has not necessarily the aim of creating something new and practical. Your brains creativity can also go into imagining the worst outcome of any endeavour your loved ones are undertaking. Yes, worrying is a relaxing hobby to the bored brain. And knowing this has helped me to accept my preference for inventing other hobbies instead. I do not think, right now in this moment, that I’m going to pick up tablet weaving, but I’m not promising anything.

Because I prefer creating over worrying any day.

So if you are a fellow bearer of the curse of the shiny thing, please rest assured that everything is fine with you. Just give your brain enough food, preferably carefully curated, and you will be just fine. (And if you, by any chance, happen to know a lot about tablet weaving, I would appreciate an informative email…)

Heartfelt, wherever you are

Unterschrift Johanna (c) Johanna Ringe 2014 ff. www.dein-buntes-leben.deP.S. Whenever I use the word shiny I think of the best (and sweetest) mechanic in the whole `Verse, Kaylee…