The Creative Habit. Notes on a book by Twyla Tharp, read on the Kindle
Sit alone in a room and let your thoughts go wherever they will. Do this for one minute. (Anyone can handle one minute of daydreaming.) Work up to ten minutes a day of this mindless mental wandering. Then start paying attention to your thoughts to see if a word or goal materializes. If it doesn’t, extend the exercise to eleven minutes, then twelve, then thirteen… until you find the length of time you need to ensure that something interesting will come to mind. The Gaelic phrase for this state of mind is “quietness without loneliness.”
Many people do not like solitude. I am not one of those people.
So today, right now, I will sit down to think for a few minutes and see what comes.
Update: I set the alarm for five minutes and had no trouble whatsoever sitting in a chair with my eyes closed thinking.
One thing I thought about:
She housed an entire farm above her shoulders. Her neck was both turkey like, in its looseness and wrinkles, and pig like, in its handsome fold, when she put her chin down too hard.
Her hair was a horse’s mane, flat and thick, but not standing up like a rooster’s crown. She had to mousse and spray and spray and mousse to make it stand up like the hay piled in the barn.
Her ears weren’t barn doors. They weren’t that big. Instead they were more like the windows on the second floor, through which hay could be pitched out into the wagon. The sound of the sheep bleating in the distance rang through them, as did the cattle’s calls as they wandered home.
Her eyes were the color of the sky on an April-showers morning, or the pond, when the clouds passed over it.
One eyebrow, her right, was a mother cow and calf, where a scar placed a distance between the two.
I also thought about the idea that there were competing views of insanity and its treatment during the 1800s and that Gilman wrote about one view. I need to find more work on that view, since that is what I should be talking about in the paper I am working on now.