Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Like walking in the rain, writing can require overcoming intertia


Thoreau by the fire: why would I want to leave?
I stare out the window as the autumn rain pours down, washing yesterday's slate clean.

I am thankful for the needed rain.

However, the deluge is enough to discourage all but the most dedicated walker.

I love the rain; its sound always seems to comfort me. 

Further comfort arises from the crackling fireplace. I am in a cozy cocoon, from which I do not want to stir. 

Nevertheless, as I sit reading, like a larva whose time has come to metamorphose into a butterfly, I struggle against the boundaries of my unseen prison, unconsciously at first, then more attentively

I am reading Thoreau's "The Maine Woods," and more than once he tells of trekking in the rain. Finally I put the book down, my mind made up.

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Why leave this...


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...for this?


Rain or no rain, I will walk.

Motivating myself to walk in the rain is much like motivating myself to write. There is an inertia that chains me to my comfortable chair, preventing me from acting on my conscious thoughts. Yet, in either case, once I shed those chains, there is little that brings me greater pleasure.

As I pull out my rain pancho, I think this trek through the torrents will transcend a stroll in the sunshine. There will be fewer people in the park where I walk, so I may see more wildlife.

I am not disappointed. As the rain slackens, the wildlife stirs from its mid-day meditations. It seems I have the entire park to myself. I am Adam, alone in the world with no one but the animals for company. I spy a pair of deer, then a pair of ducks. Two geese wing their way overhead. I hear, then see, a downy woodpecker going about his business on a tree trunk.

Nature's magic is not limited to chance wildlife encounters. Each time I inhale, my senses revel in the fresh, clean scent of rain-covered forest.

Pecking away, despite the rain.
Half an hour into my jaunt, the rain ceases and I find myself missing the very element that kept me chair-bound earlier. The sun wakens from his mid-day slumber. 

As he wipes the vanishing clouds of sleep from his face, I awake also, to the fact others are walking the park's pathways. 

With that realization, twinges of regret begin to coalesce inside my rain-hungry soul. After hiding inside from it for much of the day, I now want the rain to return, and with it the solitude and serenity of a wet, wild world.
 
But I realize that for today, the winds of Aeolus have banished the rainclouds of Zeus from the skies.

I do not dwell on this realization for too long, for I know the rains will return. And that happy knowledge stays with me, adding a spring to my step as I wend my way home, ready to shatter those other chains, ready to sit down and write.

As I conquered the rain that kept me inside, so have I conquered the inertia that kept me from writing.

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