New Shoes

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes." But he failed to mention shoes. Accident? Okay, in his case probably not. His happy adventure was to live alone, on a beautiful pond, and write.

I know many writers, such as myself, who wish we could be happy working and living without distractions. But, even Thoreau had lots of visitors, and correspondence, to keep him connected. He didn't need to think about how he looked because he never left the house. Most writers can relate to that, but few want to emulate it. People need connection, even if we have to go out and find it.

When I was fifteen years old, my mother in her European wisdom (she was Swedish) put me on a plane to Paris. Bold moves, that was my mom. I worked as an Au Pair, and on my day off I took the train into the city and simply walked around, stunned. It was the height of the disco era, and while the monuments and museums thrilled me, nothing affected me as deeply as the parade of gorgeous, stylish people.

These days, I make a point of following my curiosity wherever it leads, as long as I feel that sense of excitement and, to be fair to my teen-aged self, challenge.

Creative work requires defended boundaries, time, and the safety of a space in which to work.

But new ideas, fresh perspectives, and understanding of the human experience comes from being out there, walking around, and paying attention. When I stop caring about what shoes you have on, or which I picked, my faculties need a jolt.  Watching the fabulous people is good. But picking out some brogues, grabbing a bus, and getting out into the parade is better.

What walk will you take today?