It starts while we’re in school, I think. Though I wasn’t a troubled student (well, 7th grade math was a bomb) we pick up the expectation along the way that to look industrious –busy– is a good thing. A virtue.
It probably is, for the most part. But motionless does not necessarily mean unproductive. The two words aren’t synonymous. They’re separate. I first felt motion-free creativity working on college music projects.
Once I recognized that my mind could run while the rest of me held still, I began to use the intentional gaze more freely, on compilations, articles, concert programming, and the like. In my six years as a writer, that nowhere-stare has served me well.
Two months ago we moved. This is now the view to my left when I’m at my desk. Today I broke my gaze from it to write down some thoughts that had just arrived. How long have I been staring at that unusual bark? I wondered. Mrs. Irwin (HS English) would have told me to get busy. But I WAS busy just now. Those were premium-grade thoughts and I just morphed them into word form.
I picked up my phone, snapped this picture, and wrote the missive you see:
If you see me gazing out my window, I am working.
I’m holding very still so my mind can RUN!