With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Eleanor Roosevelt
It’s day 15 of the Starting with a Quote Project
And what are you learning?
You want details or the big picture?
This morning on my walk, I realize this project’s addressing my “thinking too hard” behavior.
Tell me more.
Well, I have all these crazy spinning thoughts in my head.
And I’m watching this morning routine (morning pages, walk, then blog) give my spinning thoughts some structure, focus and direction, which then allows room for new ideas. It’s like what Cathy was showing me a few weeks ago when we were cleaning and organizing her classroom.
Yeah. Now I’m going to the nature park north of town. Today’s a bit cooler (high 80’s) and a nature walk was an early morning idea. I’ll take a water bottle, trail mix, my notebook, bug spray…and some room for new thoughts:)
The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn’t that make life a story? Yann Martel, Life of Pi
1. Listening to the poetry of a writer friend
2. Catching up with another friend over Indian food
3. Reading The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
4. Discussing the weather while waiting in line at the grocery story
5. Watching two children interact at the library
6. Answering a text on my cell phone
7. Reading and writing blogs
8. Writing morning pages and evening reflections
9. Listening to the thoughts in my head as I walk in the park
10. Listening to a song on the radio
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marian Wright Edelman
Last night at the community garden volunteer training workshop we brainstormed how to get a neighborhood more involved. The Valencia Community Garden was established four years ago and the neighbors are still not working in the garden or participating in the monthly veggie of the month food demonstration or yearly taste-a-thon. I listen to ideas that sound similar to the ones we come up with every year at this training.
Early that afternoon I was the adult assigned to a table of four young adolescents in the youth summer gardening program. The tasks were to fry green tomatoes picked from the garden and to make a remoulade sauce. Two of the guys began the job of slicing tomatoes (carefully tucking fingers out of the way of the sharp knife) and then coating them with egg, flour, and a cornmeal mix. The only girl in our group took over the frying, diligently stirring and flipping the prepared slices. The youngest member of the group (whom I affectionately call Tigger) measured and whisked together the ingredients for the sauce.
There were no cuts, no burns, no big spills…and no arguments. All I really did was watch, amazed.
Hey y’all. Maybe we’re overlooking something here. For four years we’ve been grooming the next generation of neighbors. And they are very involved.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward de Bono
I’m smuggly content at being able to spend a pleasant, somewhat productive day alone. But…
One brother is playing blues in a cozy little neighborhood bar on his 60th birthday. The other brother will be there with his new girlfriend from New York City. I don’t think I’ll go.
Why not, Laura?
The day has been so nice I could easily slip into pajamas and return to the book I’ve been reading. Anyway, I’ve seen both brothers within the last 24 hours.
About six o’clock, as Buddy would be beginning to play, I think, “Why not, Laura?”
Yeah, my thought exactly.
So I slip on a clean shirt, put on a little lipstick, pick up the car keys and head out the door.
How is it?
Wonderful. I sit with a childhood neighbor, meet Bruce’s girlfriend and note a new confidence in Buddy’s presentation. And then…
This young guy with an African djembe comes on stage. Buddy starts playing his guitar and the drummer adds rhythm. It isn’t long before the guy’s lost in the music. By the last song he has jumped off the stage and is beating the floor with drumsticks. It is incredible!
Better than pajamas and a good book?
Probably so…however, in the middle of all this energy, I wonder what this kid was like as a third grader.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie. Rainer Maria Rilke
This feels like a really scary quote, but today I write with Lynda, the buddy I’ve written with the longest. And I want to take advantage of her support.
Because support is what I need now. This project is taking me into thoughts and feelings I did not see coming. Yesterday as I listened for a sweeter focus to my day, I realized the “editor” has had an awful lot of control over my brainstorming sessions.
Aw, get a grip. Quit your whining.
Calm down sweetie. What’s wrong?
I’m sad. And a little bit scared.
Things in my life I have no control over. The grief I continue to carry.
Like I said, get a grip. You’re just not that special.
Those are certainly things we do feel sad and scared about.
How do I get rid of these feelings?
Feelings are feelings. Sit still. Breathe. Let’s try a ten minute meditation.
That editor is not going to go away, is he?
Probably not. But maybe he doesn’t need to always talk in boldface.
- Flow From Me Like a River (itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com)
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain
It is becoming clearer to me that I can choose how my day will be by the quote I choose to experience. Did I really want Saturday’s experience of testing my creativity by testing my fear of being alone? Couldn’t there have been a kinder way?
In Wild Mind Natalie Goldberg talks of our sweetheart voice. A balance for my all-too-present editor who made quite an appearance on Saturday. An out of focus imagination…that’s what I will call the editor today.
Let’s see how that plays.
Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. Emma Thompson
Yesterday’s quote (In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.) was a real ride.
First of all I was very aware of being alone. C’mon creativity, I began thinking, don’t hesitate to step in here.
I finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult with a zillion thoughts racing through my head. Sit still, Laura. You need some grounding.
I picked up another book and knew immediately there were too many words. I wanted something different.
I roasted green beans and steamed carrots harvested from the backyard, then planted the gardenia a friend rooted for me a month ago.
I went to the bookstore and grocery and bought only unlined notecards and bananas.
I walked around Michael’s for nearly an hour, picking up one thing and then another. I bought nothing. But when I got home I cut my new notecards into tiny squares and filled a dozen with zentangles.
Open to creativity. That’s what you were, girl !
I know. Should I worry about what I might experience with the quote I picked for today?
Nah. I’ll be right here if you need me.
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (beautifulifebysigal.wordpress.com)