Jim Murphy's recent post connected us to the familiar and mundane aspects of our daily lives, those frustrating moments that can crush our creativity. When we can get away from our routines and experience something different, our creativity can be inspired and renewed.
This Saturday, my husband and I traveled from our home in Missoula, MT, where the temperature was 19 degrees, through Salt Lake City, where the snow fell fast enough to delay our flight by 1 1/2 hours, through sunny LA and on to the Garden Isle of Kauai'i, where it rarely gets below 75 degrees or over 84. Jeans are traded in for shorts and shoes for sandals. The phone doesn't ring, and meals become simple. The seashore calls, and the warm breeze welcomes. Nature is up close and personal.
The natural world is both my personal beat and my professional one, so I really 'dig' this place. I believe that when we are close to nature we are closer to our fundamental, creative selves. On this island, residents and tourists alike are drawn to the natural rhythms of sun and sea, moon and tide. Every evening, people flock to the sea wall on the west side of the island in hopes of seeing a great sunset.
And when the full moon rises out of the ocean, families and neighbors gather in the park to watch as the moon spreads its silver mantle over the dancing waves. No wonder this island is home to many artists and writers.
I don't write about Hawai'i, but I do renew my creative batteries here, not only because of the closeness of nature, but also because being here brings a shift in my daily life, and being jogged out of our routines helps nudge our creativity. At home in Montana, summer days stretch on deep into what is black night in Hawaii, and winter days end while the tropical sun is still shining. Here in Hawaii, the record high and low temperatures throughout the year don't vary as much as they do over a normal 24 hour span at home. Everything is different, and the differences bring about a shift in my being. I do work here--one of the perks of being a writer is that you can carry out your craft wherever you are--but I try to keep that to a minimum. I want those batteries to be chock full of creative energy when I return to the deep, dark cold of winter, when writing is the one thing I can do, no matter what nature has to offer my spirit.