Our woodlands beckoned today, so I wandered off to the marsh again with camera in hand. The goose’s nest atop the beaver lodge is now empty and I caught the barest glimpse of the geese and at least one gosling in the distant grasses. A couple mallards drifted in and out of sight, too. I sat on my bench in the silence of the sunny afternoon and wondered where all the other wildlife were hiding. We live five minutes from four different lakes, so I suppose they could have been galavanting.
I’d say my afternoon qualified for what Julia Cameron calls an ‘Artist’s Date’… “some small adventure.” In WALKING IN THIS WORLD: THE PRACTICAL ART OF CREATIVITY, she says,
“When I am on an Artist’s Date, I stand a little outside the flow of hurried time. I declare an hour off limits from hurried production and I have the chance to marvel at my own “being” produced. I am just one soul amid so many souls, one life led amid a bouquet of lives. When I step aside from pushing time, from facing the clock, even for just one hour, I feel myself drawn to merciful scale.”
“Nothing is too small,” she adds. And I agree. There is nothing insignificant in the world that surrounds me during my wandering.
“Artists throughout the centuries have talked about inspiration. They have reported the whispers of the divine that came to them when they inclined their ear to listen. Aligning their own creativity with that of their creator, composers exclaimed, ‘Straight away the ideas flew in on me!’ Such ideas can — and do — fly in on all of us. They are the squirrel scampering along the branch. They are the stray pink blossom lighting on a cheekbone. They are the light but definite touch of the unseen world touching our own whenever we are willing to be touched.”
Not everyone has the physical capability necessary for a walk in the woods. Not everyone has the opportunity or the time to take an hour off in the middle of the afternoon. But I’ve come to believe we can’t ask our minds to constantly yield ideas for us without regularly restocking their source of creativity. We must be replenished in order to continue producing. It’s important to take time to identify how best to achieve rejuvenation in our circumstance, then make time to accomplish it.
I believe our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual survival depend on it.
Do you agree, or are you more of the ‘push on through the day and stop navel-gazing’ kind of personality?
“It’s always refreshing to step into another time.”
“I have avoided becoming stale by putting a little water on the plate,
lying on the plate, and having myself refreshed in a toaster oven
for 23 minutes once every month.”
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”
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