Monday, November 14, 2011

Om My Walk

Life is so complicated these days that you have to leave home to relax. Get in the theater with your smart phone politely silenced and put in your pocket, concentrate on the production for a couple of hours. Go on a walk where you have to watch the ground for things to trip on and watch for cars or bikes that might collide with you, focus only on what's really nearby and what's in your head.

Even driving there is so much input as you whiz by things. Walking is the best way to relax and concentrate your attention. On a walk you can clearly see the litter, the dead animals, the details on houses and businesses. You can stop and window shop. Maybe look at antiques on the east side (as above). I get my camera out and shoot a picture or two, but at home I'm often looking at slides shows of years of pictures. (I know, I know.) If I watch TV I'm always reading as well, usually a stack of newspapers. I will skip over to e-mail, check Twitter, feeds and facebook and get distracted by linking to interesting stuff. Mostly I think of things I should do: pay a bill, plan some event, organize something, clean something. Can't do that if you are out putting one foot in front of the other.

I have thought of working on a novel while sitting at my computer and have even written a few words of it. But in my head, on my walks, I have meditated my way to the end of the novel. Not all the characters have names but the arcs through time are there, a completely invented world over decades, pretty well worked out. It will never be committed to paper, though, because I'd have to sit at home, with all the distractions, and type it up. Just glancing up at the bookshelf threatens to take me away. On a walk there are plenty of distractions but they come at you slow and give you to time to think, to create, mantra or not.