The Creative Walk…
I am not an athlete. In fact, if I exercise at all, it’s a major cause for celebration.
However, I do love to walk. Walking alone has always been a great time for creative thinking. I prefer walking in nature or on quiet streets without much traffic. I don’t wear headphones because I like to listen to nature. I don’t power walk to get my cardio, although I know I should. For me, walking is about moving my body, enjoying myself and being in the moment.
My entire childhood was spent walking. Back in the day, we all walked to school. There was no bus and our parents did not drive us. I lived just short of a mile from my elementary school. I walked to school in the morning with my sister, walked home for a quick lunch and then turned right around and walked back to school in the afternoon. After school, I would often go to a friends’s house to play, but then I had to make sure I walked home before dark.
Four miles a day. Every single day. The only time we would get a ride was if the weather was truly horrible. A gentle snow or rain was not a good excuse to be driven to school. We had snow pants, boots and umbrellas. Good enough.
And it was good enough. It could be magical thinking on my part, but I honestly don’t remember kids getting very antsy in school. I know that I never felt that way. I think it’s because we all had plenty of time and opportunity to get some sunshine and fresh air. We blew off a lot of steam walking, riding our bikes and playing on the playground.
Fast forward to college, and I was walking everywhere again. I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is a huge campus the size of a small city. I lived on the edge of campus and it was a major haul to the art buildings, but I walked instead of learning the bus system. Day after day, in all kinds of weather, and I was happy to do it. It was then that I learned how important the walk was for my creative thinking. I sorted out all sorts of creative problems while walking to and from class.
A few years ago I read the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry and wrote a post about it. One of the patterns that emerged was that a large portion of the artists spent a good chunk of their day walking.
One thing is for sure. They weren’t doing it to maintain their cardio, they were doing it to maintain their creativity.
Still…I could kill two birds with one stone and step up the pace a bit to get my cardio!
You can learn about Laura Morrison and her art at LauraMorrisonArt. com