Recently, I was writing in a local coffee-house. Although I have arranged my home to shelter and inspire my muse, sometimes I need to change my writing space. Becoming a writer has given me the gift of solitude as I search and excavate my mind for ideas. That’s good. But sometimes my environment distracts me with housekeeping tasks, paying attention to my wonderful roommates (a husband that I love and a daughter who I adore) and the need for stimulation and encouragement. That is when I venture out into the world.
I once wrote a lovely piece of prose in the midst of a food court in a large mall. I was inspired by the gentleness of a liberally tattooed father in his early twenties tenderly feeding his baby. I would have missed that in my home office. That day I learned that public spaces can give me inspiring glimpses of humanity.
Nestling into a corner table with my local barista, sipping my deeply aromatic coffee, I started the journey into myself. I was facing the window and looking at parked cars. I turned the table forty-five degrees and then I was viewing the mountains and the beautiful white puffy clouds in a royal blue sky. I thought to myself, ” I do not have this view from my office window.” My office at home provides me with a view of outdoor art and a wonderful burst of green trailing plants with a glimpse of the sky through the foliage. This provides comforting and nourishing support.
The view from the table in my coffee-house gave me the sky and a feeling of expansion. Comparing this to my home office view, one is a cocoon and the other is an opening. I need both of them. As I surrounded myself with the windows open to the sky, I took bold steps to edit and complete a few chapters for my manuscript. The expanse of the sky as well as the sounds of voices and music brought me to the completion of my task. Those influences were exactly what I needed on that day.
Where are you sitting? What would happen if you changed your surroundings or moved your perch in a new direction? Movement allows us to pivot and create a turning point. A change of pace and space can provide renewal and insight. We pivot and experience change. And our muse follows us wherever we go.
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Hi Ellen, Just saw mention of your blog on Twitter — from a Heartfelt Workforce tweet! I always love your perspective and always benefit from it! I find the view from my office inspiring and far-reaching, since it is of the Santa Catalina Moutains. Sometime I too want to be in more of a cocoon and be more introspective….Thanks and I look forward to reading your future posts! Dale