Today marks yet another Monday in our extended time of voluntary house arrest. Work continues on various writing projects. I’m still writing in the Room of Shame, that “no man’s land” of boxes, bags, luggage, and household debris that is our third bedroom.
I suppose if we actually did manage to get it tidied up, I would lose the ability to write.
All right, probably not, but that’s my excuse.
As a side note, I am making masks for our family unit. I don’t have a sewing machine, but I’ve rediscovered the serenity of hand-sewing, something my Grandmothers both did, and taught me.
My homemade masks aren’t as fancy as some made by our friends, but if you are looking for a simple pattern to make your own, here is a link: USA TODAY Make your own facemask.
I’m getting pretty tired of my own cooking, but I’m branching out again. Homemade vegan pizza on Wednesday night and fancy dinner salads break up the routine of casseroles and crockpot meals.
My back porch has become my personal escape. Watching the birds and letting my mind wander is restful. The flow of random thoughts is the source of creativity and this porch is my haven.
Having the time to just sit and daydream is important. Letting your mind roam free and allowing the possibilities to enter your stream of consciousness (or not, as they will) is beneficial for you. Fifteen or twenty minutes a day of merely watching the world go by will rejuvenate you.
I do my best work when I have the chance to sit and let my mind wander. So, even when we aren’t in the middle of a quarantine, I always take the time to watch the town go by from my porch.
According to the internet, we daydream less as we get older. I wonder, is this nature or nurture?
What really happens when we allow ourselves to just sit and think about nothing in particular? What happens on a neurological level when we let our minds off the leash and allow it to run free and unencumbered?
One interesting fact is that apparently if we daydream about the past, we tend to forget what we were doing before the daydream started. This happens to me all the time.
Sometimes I gaze at the scenery with no conscious awareness of thought for long periods. This means my mind is entirely at rest. With this relaxing of conscious thought, I become rested, and my mind is cleared of the white-noise that hinders my creative process.
Some people call it meditation, and others call it a waste of time.
I call it essential.
Letting your mind roam with no particular direction lowers your stress levels, which immediately improves your health and your thought processes.
Sometimes we can visualize a complex emotional theme for our work but can’t find the words to describe it. If we can’t explain it, how do we show it? Often, the answers will come to me if I take the time to sit outside. I watch the clouds or the birds or listen to the trains passing at the other end of town.
I hope that during this time of social distancing and quarantine, you have been able to set aside the stress and worry of our new normal. I am deeply aware of my good fortune in having a back porch and a garden to escape to.
When I was in my twenties, I moved often because of work. I usually lived in apartment complexes, which don’t always offer pleasant views or outdoor spaces.
I hope the views out your windows are worth looking at.
In the days ahead, my wish for you is that you will find the head-space to write and take any opportunity you can to simply let your mind wander.