What's the Big Idea?

When I get a new idea, a mad rush of a new concept, I tend to go really high.

An idea for a documentary, or doodle, or show, filters through my mind exponentially larger than it turn out in reality.  I'll present the idea with high vibes, full color, lots of expression.  

A late-night local cable program has a cast of dozens. A film about a worship band germinates as a 24 hour, multi streamed, world-wide event with fireworks and flamethrowers. 

The ideas have to filter down into present reality, but some aspect of the original vision ends up being in there! 

But a few years ago I had an idea to get a tattoo. 

Most people, on their first go, will start small. And with something not complicated, and maybe hidden away on their body somewhere. But not me, I had to go big. 

It had to be a celtic symbol. It had to cover the inside of my right arm. I found a trifecta design and the best artist in the coolest shop that I could afford. The dude looked like Frank Zappa, and blasted Black Sabbath as he worked. 

Zappa was kind enough to warn me not to place the tattoo on one of the most sensitive areas of my body. He recommended a smaller tattoo.

But no, I said, this is what I want, I am ready for it. 

90 minutes of sheer pain ensued, I felt like my arm would melt into a glob of burnt flesh on the table. I think I went into a trance, 'cos that is the only way I got through that experience.

There are mystics who claim that every Divine encounter leaves a mark on your soul, that the encounter can always be accessed by the power of your imagination, you own it, it's a badge of honor. 

Once touched by God, they say, that touch is always there to help. 

Well, my first tattoo was a big idea that I followed through on to see it in reality. I remember if vividly. It broke other's conception of me, it burned some flesh and stretched my own self-understanding. I never liked pain, whether it be pain from a doctor's needle, or basic exercise, or an ingrown toenail-- pain was not my friend.  But I learned I could survive pain. Even the grand idea of the tattoo matched the final reality of what it ended up looking like.   

Maybe the bigness of the idea is what helps drive a person through to see a final result.

Maybe receiving and flowing with a grand idea enables a team to make stuff that's larger than life on super-low budgets. 

And maybe, like with my tattoo idea, following through with a big vision can bring about a change that you'd never think was possible.