Monday, October 14, 2013
It's early October and it's been either raining or cloudy all weekend, yet here I sit on the screened-in porch, typing on my laptop. If I were at home, I'd be holed up somewhere in the house, but since I'm at the beach, it's imperative that I sit out here on the porch, even if it means I must wear a jacket.
Getting away never fails to rattle the muse -- in a good way -- shaking loose new ideas I didn't know I had. When we come to the beach in the summer, I credit sun, sand and salt air, but this weekend, the sun is nowhere to be found, the sand is wet enough not to be ubiquitous and the air is as chilly as it is salty. And yet the ideas swirl.
I think perhaps it has something to do with the downsizing that accompanies a trip. Unable to take everything we own (though we never fail to make the attempt), we bring only what's essential. Unhindered by additional baggage, I am less distracted, and when the muse peeks out, I can capture her without dodging to-do lists and tripping over half-finished projects.
It would be easy to make the argument that a similar downsizing at home might produce the same effect, but the to-do lists there are on autopilot. Dinner. Laundry. Cleaning the bathroom. Chores surface and despite my best efforts, they can only be ignored for so long before the consequences become dire.
I believe that there's a certain magic inspired by locales that hold a special place in our hearts. A trip to a random city is a break from routine, but it doesn't always inspire. When we go to places that stir our souls, we soak it all in so that we can later create, pouring our thoughts and emotions into the medium we love best. Painters paint, sculptors sculpt and writers write.
Here on this patio, I have closed the door on daily obligations. And since I'm on vacation, I have tacit permission to do so. Perhaps it's this freedom that nudges the muse, or perhaps it's just the change of scenery. Either way, time here inspires, and for that, I am grateful.