Get Out

30 Sep

One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to creating is getting OUT of my own head. Schedules, an ever-expanding To Do list with far too few check marks, voices reminding me of imminent emergencies that always take precedence over creative time (sigh . . . I can’t finish that book/painting/quilt/journal when this toaster clearly needs washing!) and day-to-day necessities (food and the occasional shower) crowd my brain and pull a veil of shetland wool over any creative urges that long to see the light of day.

My solution to getting out of my own repetitious agenda is to get OUT of my head by getting OUT of my house. Even walking to the mailbox on the corner or driving for a spin through a few distant neighborhoods is enough to reset the gears and give my creative side a little voice. Oooh, look at the colors in that tree! Wow, I had no idea this park was here. I wonder where this path leads? The sound of the birds replaces my routine inner humming; the curve of a petal resets my spacial imaginings; a pop of chartreuse refracts possibilities through my eyes.

But the best recharging I do is through travel. I long to get far enough away from myself and my neural travel paths to reset everything inside me. I love wandering through a country with new eyes, particularly when my grasp of the language is timid enough to keep me mostly silent and watching, alert for nuances and glimpses into other cultures, other ways of being. Exploring new places is always fun, but the complete makeover of SAME OLD ME is life-giving. Suddenly everything is new — unfamiliar recipes tickle the palate; regional patterns and colors excite and inspire; vistas across the Italian countryside parallel a sense of endless possibility; cultural curiosities encourage you to go deep inside to pull your own mysteries into your art.

Grab a backpack or the Louis Vuittons, book that ticket, and get out. Dive into the unfamiliar and let it envelop and transform you. I guarantee you two things: a new outlook and a heap of inspiration.

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