Ending the Idea Famine #2

This is a continuation of a blog post about feeling idea-less and employing strategies to unstick myself.  


Getting outside and walking around and noticing things.  I’m a pretty-place person, and I really do hate enforced city/suburb living, but there I’ve lived since I was 13; thus, I have developed a long-standing practice of looking for the beauty, wherever I happen to be.  What I notice can often become fodder for reflection and writing.

Not to mention that going outside can provide fresh air and vitamin D and eye fatigue prevention (look up the 20-20-20 rule), and walking around constitutes movement which means not-sitting; and since sitting is now known to be deadly, and one does not tend to have many writing ideas while dead, getting out and walking around sounds like a pretty positive idea-move.

Since I used a birthday gift card to buy myself a FitBit, I find I’m more conscious about how much movement I’m doing in a given day.  Often I’ll take my conference period to step outside and walk under the sun or clouds.  If I then walk my dog in the evening, even just around the block, I’ll more often than not make my 10,000 steps a day, which is good start against the sedentariness that kills.

The beauty I notice while out there is sometimes captured in bits and bytes on my iPhone camera, and sometimes just in gray matter in my brain…and I find it sometimes becomes a poem or a reflection.  I think of it as my Mary Oliver practice–noticing natural phenomena, then reflecting and connecting.  There’s some truth to St. Augustine’s assertion, “Solvitur ambulando” — ‘in walking it is solved.’

Just yesterday I was driving during a lull in a storm and was met with this glorious sight.


And I got to thinking about the rainbow and its physical explanation (water through sunlight, prism effect, etc.) and its mythic/symbolic meaning (promise of God, post-flood, never to destroy the earth again on that scale), and it led me to a conversation my protagonist may have with another character about the rightness or wrongness of imbuing the physical world with significance beyond mere biology.

Overheard at a kiln: "The main teaching of all religions is, don't be a dick." You heard the man--comment away, but...you know...

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