OK, dear blog readers, inspiration hath struck like lightning in the rain. I am tingling with the sense of new possibilities, new directions, new visions.
Would you like to tingle, too? For those who haven’t already–pick up a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book BIG MAGIC. (Don’t react all ho-hum like I did and think, yeah, right, just another inspiring book that will rock your socks for five minutes before you shelve it and continue on to your usual predictable behavior and responses for the rest of your life.)
I am not going to provide a book review about this marvelous creation because that would be, well, expected. Instead I am going to tell you what is exciting me.
First, let’s set the stage. Here is something that happened last night, after a magic day of reading BIG MAGIC. Barry and I visited the Vertin Gallery in Calumet with friends Deb and Chuck (after a short hike at the Paavola Wetlands and before dinner at the Michigan House).
The Vertin Gallery sells all sorts of eclectic items like ancient strollers, modern art and everything imaginable. It’s a consignment shop where folks attempt to lure other folks into purchasing items, with sellers hoping an unknown visitor will fall head-over-heels in love with, say, rickety old theater seats. (These things do happen, reader.)
We strolled through the shop and I noted big books of artists like Gauguin, marveling that such artists existed. Thinking how little I know of art and artists. Thinking–wouldn’t it be nice to buy that clunky coffee-table book and simply leaf through it because, well, just because it’s new and different and unexpected and you might learn something?
But what do we often do when these thoughts visit us? Our minds come up with reasons why this simply won’t DO. My mind said: Oh, no, too expensive. (Even though the books were 1/2 price.) Oh, no, you don’t even LIKE art that much. (What do you mean?) Oh, no, I’m a minimalist, I hate to buy THINGS. (Boring, boring, boring, you’re so darn predictable!)
So we continued on to dinner, sans Gauguin.
This morning I awoke and suddenly–just like that–inspiration struck!
I finally figured out why I liked Opening the door, Walking outside–the outdoor commitment and blog I wrote back in 2008-2009. It was because the practice of going outside every day (and writing about it) broke through the rut of ho-hum everyday. It encouraged finding inspiration, opening the eyes a little wider, doing the unexpected. It was an entire year of enticing the unexpected. It felt like BIG MAGIC.
Thus, instead of shelving BIG MAGIC and refusing to take the challenge, I’m grabbing hold of the mystery and dedicating some time & space to cherishing the unexpected. (Seriously folks, I don’t know about you, but I can get into some awful ruts of doing the SAME darn thing every SINGLE day.)
So what are you doing? you may be wondering.
I am going to do something unexpected every single day.
Yes. There you have it.
Something creative, something appealing, something that the mind is already trying to figure out how to prevent happening.
Then I am going to write it in a little notebook, documenting it.
What is unexpected today, April 24, 2016?
Well, it’s raining here in the northwoods. So I pulled on jogging pants, old green shirt, jacket and ancient sneakers and trotted off into the rain. Walked and ran up the road before 7:30 a.m., listening to bird song and feeling this heart delight with a cascade of inspiring ideas.
How often do we talk ourselves out of ideas! My mind said, oh no, it’s raining. Oh no, you need to eat breakfast. Oh no, the glasses will get wet and you won’t be able to see. Oh, no, no, no, don’t you dare go for a walk/run in the rain.
And, as you can imagine, it turned out to feel utterly exhiliarating and nourishing.
One of the ideas that blitzes through this mind right now is: Write a blog everyday about what unexpected thing you do!
But I am not going to be that expected. Experience has shown that the inner rebel does not want the pressure of writing a blog every day. It gets too weighty, too much of an obligation. (Maybe I WILL write a blog every day, but only if it’s unexpected.) Otherwise will keep you updated on this project every now-and-then.
Can’t wait to see what the prompt “Unexpected” will reveal, and whether it will enrich and inspire in the days to come.
P.S. Whenever I post an “Unexpected” blog, feel free to share something unexpected you did during your day or week.