Time Out

I live next to a large, beautiful network of parks in which you can hike for many miles without circling back. I don’t go walking out there nearly often enough. It is a beautiful area of old trees and very friendly trails, or you can go off the main trails that run along the creek and find peaceful solitude up in the hills almost any time of the year.

Once I’m out there, it is such a relief to leave the civilized world behind and to try to turn off the constant stream of words in my mind. I’ve read that human beings think in words, and without language there is no thought. That is ridiculous. All people, and artists especially, need to be able to cultivate other modes of thought than verbal. I can only shut off the words for a few minutes at a time at best, but even that feels so rejuvenating. My senses grow sharper; I’m more aware in general. The present moment seems more real and not like something that I have just missed. My body unlocks a little and breathes more deeply.

We need breaks from “thinking and doing” from time to time. The more hectic the life, the more we need them. When we cannot go into a different physical environment, it can still be very refreshing to take a mental break in other ways. I usually come back to “thinking and doing” more focused and effective than before.

You don’t just deserve it; you need it.


One Reply to “Time Out”

  1. The idea of silence, solitude, quietness and mindfulness is playing a major role in many people's lives at this time. Friends are commenting on how they are not listening to their audio devices. They are walking in the outdoors (rainy here!), working alone in the garden, contemplating nature, meditating, practicing yoga. They are making committments to tread more lightly on the planet, truly listen when others speak, extend a caring hand, offer a word of encouragement. This wonderful sense of calmness has settled on us. I love it!

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