Friday, May 31, 2013

What’s Your Window?

When I look out of my office window, I see a new fence and a garden with its first flush of green. Beyond that is a kite-flying field where a helicopter once landed — out of the blue.

Unless you’re presently serving time in an office cubicle or the state pen, I’m pretty sure you have a window, too. 

Take a gander out of yours. 

What do you see? I bet I know…




And musical compositions!

Any time you need a super-fast jump-start on any artistic endeavor, just remember that glassy gap in the wall.

No window?

No worries! There’s a figurative window, too. And you always have that one, no matter where you roam.

Part of its view is often occupational.

As a writer, I typically see ideas for articles, stories, or poems out of this little porthole of mine — regardless of the scenery.

But I didn't always have this view.

Back when I was a neuropsychology intern, I used a much different sort of window. When I viewed the world through that pane, I saw…

Brain damage!

Yep, I could have been looking at a tree, a piano, or a house cat, but trust me, it had impairment potential. My coworkers and I often joked that it was a miracle we could even get through our days unscathed — walking around in the world as we did without helmets or suits of bubble wrap.

Of course, we were all pretty sleep-deprived.

Meanwhile, the psychiatry residents were “catching” every mental illness through their occupational windows. And one nurse on the burn unit refused to use a stove... “It’s not dinner, if it’s not microwavable!” She would say with a fist pump.

Of course, my fellow interns and I didn't pipe up about all of the brain-damaging chemicals that are potentially released via microwave cookery.

Anyway, occupational or otherwise, it should be no big surprise that the figurative window you look out through, determines your outlook on life.

Here's an example from literature…

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily.
 “If it is a good morning,” he said.
“Which I doubt.”

Yet here’s a different window in the very same house –

“The sky is perfect blue. 
The clouds are perfect, too.
And here I am with you!
What could be more right?”
 sang Winnie the Pooh.

Ah, poor Eeyore – forever suffering…

from a wee bit of window “pain.”

PROMPT: What’s outside your window? This is a great place to start a bit of art. Then try somebody else’s view for a change. How do farmers see the world? Astronauts? Slugs? What does that garden see, when it looks back at me? Hmmm….

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let it Shine!

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

~Louisa May Alcott

PROMPT: What are your highest aspirations? 

Take some time out today to notice their beauty, shed the doubt, and take a step in their direction.

Yeah, it’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Play Power!

Would you like to avoid the fast-track from fun young hipster to fuddy-duddy old curmudgeon?

If you answered NO to this question, then sadly I did not get to you in time.

But if you answered YES, then come on out and…


Scientists say that nothing lights up the brain like having fun.

What’s more, if people or animals are deprived of play when they are young, their brains shrink up to the size of raisins.

Okay, maybe not actually the size of raisins, but trust me there are brain changes and those changes are not pretty.

Play is especially helpful for folks who work in the arts —

It makes you more flexible and adaptable.

It helps you solve problems.

It makes you grin — and frankly, if you need more evidence than this last point, then you’d better check your curmudgeon-o-meter.

So jump up and down and wiggle around.

Climb something.

Play ball, Frisbee, or spin the bottle.

If you can’t think of a way to play, borrow a boomerang…

Something’s sure to hit you.

Which reminds me —

Wordplay is always a great place to start!

So, think back to the time you didn't want to believe that your college roommate was stealing from his job as a road worker — but when you got home, all the signs were there.

Or puzzle over why some folks think of marriage as a word, while others consider it to be a sentence.

Then play on today!

And be sure to think outside the box...

It’s far too late once you’re in it.

PROMPT: Studies have found that children who are given play time before a creative task, produce more creative results. So today — play first! Unless, of course, your main character happens to be a grumpy old curmudgeon.