Sometimes, you just need to get away from the computer and try something a little more . . . traditional. So, a few days ago, I grabbed a pen and spiral notebook and headed out to explore the city a little more.
I ended up tracking down the Novi public library, figuring it would be someplace peaceful (and free) to think. After exploring the inside for a bit, I made my way out onto a back patio and found, behind it, a little park with a small, schoolhouse-looking building. Novi Township Hall, apparently. The building, which is a reconstruction of one built in 1876 (the original caught fire), was moved to the library property in the late 1980's and renovated by volunteers. It now serves as an historical landmark--when I went by, it was bustling with a class of elementary-aged children, working on what I assumed were art or craft projects.
Behind the building was a little amphitheater, the sort of place you'd expect to see a bluegrass band playing on a muggy, summer evening.
So, I plopped myself down on the top row of concrete bleachers, pulled out my notebook and pen, and started writing. Everything, from notes on an ongoing website project to a stream of consciousness about how hot the sun was, came flowing out of that pen. It was wonderful, and I scribbled until my fingers ached and my right hand was smeared with ink.
Sometimes, it's hard to remember what that's like, especially when you're accustomed to tapping plastic keys day-in and day-out. Nothing feels better, though, than happily exhausting your mind with creative thoughts--a simple brainstorm on anything and everything can put your thoughts into perspective more than aimless thinking ever could. Sure, it might look like all sorts of crazy when you put your gibberish onto those college-ruled lines, but that's only because we're not used to seeing our minds mapped out onto paper. It's a prize in itself to see that all those random things floating through your brain can be pasted onto a readable surface. Fair warning, however: if you do it correctly, mental exhaustion will occur. That's just a given.