Brain Freeze

Portland has been in a deep freeze. For the first few days it snowed and every-day life came to a stand still while sled runs, cross-country skiing  and snowman construction became the norm. Indoors, we relaxed, slept late, read. We stayed in our Pjs, and made soup in the crock pot. Even with the squeals of children sliding down the hill, the days were quiet. Snow does that. The acoustics of the world dampen and we can think. Just be.

Then came the ice. Different story. Walking in it was nearly impossible.Those who tried to drive on it couldn’t make it up or down the hills. Even stopping on the flats meant a fishtail. Peace was replaced with a kind of irritated drive to be back to “normal.”The ice felt mean.

All this made me think about my creative process. Some days I allow myself the ease of a snowy day: quiet space, curiosity, low expectations, and a playful mind. Those are the days when I get lost in the story, song or poem that I’m writing.

Then there are the days I cover my soft intentions with a hard icy crust of judgement. In that  cold mind set, poems decide to knock on someone else’s door, songs walk on the other side of the street and characters hole up in my imagination until I change my tune.

What I’ve learned is to stop. To take a snow day in my head and heart. To remember that writing is my joy. So, I take a walk, breathe and watch the seasons subtly change. By the time I come back to my desk, so have the characters, poems and songs that I thought abandoned me. Creativity has its own wisdom. It loves to play.

So, my question to you is this: How do you solve your “brain-freeze” puzzles ?