Creativity for the Rest of Us

The Appointment

What if, on the first sunny day,
on your way to work, a colorful bird
sweeps in front of you down a
street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile.
A sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street
and realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows
something you do not and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird
turns down an alley. For now
there is a tension: Is what the
bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two,
thinking you can have it both ways.
But soon you arrive at the edge
of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you
and you must decide
which appointment you were born to keep.

Mark Nepo

 

Practice

Take an hour this week and take a walk.   Go somewhere familiar or somewhere new.  Set out without an agenda and let yourself wander. When you get to a crossroads or decision point, listen inside to which way your heart wants to go. If you’ve chosen somewhere familiar, act as if you are a visitor who has just landed and is seeing this place for the first time.

This is an exercise in listening and tracking.  Where are you being guided and what decisions do you make? Are you listening to your heart or to the chattering of your mind? What is your comfort level in wandering without an agenda?

Make some notes or a drawing about your experience.

3 Responses to “The Appointment”

  1. bobbeaux says:

    Stepping outside our rational self is a hard but valuable endeavor. Our internal chatter can be deafening — blinding — desensitizing.

    Once upon a time our earliest understanding of psychology caused us to consider the emotional “I” as separate from the rational “I”. What we know now is that there are only two states in which such a foolish idea is possible. One is death, and the other is a coma. The advice of this thread is to listen with both your head and your heart — someething we Westerners find so difficult to do. I am giving myself the gift of trying this suggestion this weekend.

  2. margotsf says:

    When money is tight, we go for a “vacation” in our own town and it’s surprising how delightful and discovery-rich the event is. So it’s about listening AND exploring (the latter being my all-time favorite activity), both of which nourish and stimulate my creativity. That’s it for now — got to go take a walk and count the egrets (we live by the sea)!

  3. Egret counting as a new past time – love that!

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