Friday, December 30, 2011

rooms with no view

"You need a room with no view so imagination can meet memory in the dark." Annie Dillard

Does anyone else compose or design while doing repetitive physical tasks?

I had to do a lot of errands yesterday and while I was the driving familiar neighborhood roads I spun myself the ground work for a new short story. Once the tasks were completed, I went to the Aquatic Center at Bethesda Park not five minutes from home and swam in the gigantic indoor heated pool for 45 minutes.

My stroke closely resembles a manatee in search of the dessert cart but it still taxes me if I keep at it. After a lap or two, seventy five meters worth each way, I stop, hang on the tile lip and stretch this and that before I turn and head back to the distant shore. A few times I put on the steam and swam like I was hearing the Jaws theme music, impressing myself with the pace I was making. The lithe, young lifeguard piped up "Best lap this morning!"- poor thing, she must be bored to tears. Did I mention that I have the entire pool to myself?It seems like the best kept secret in the county. No one else showed up before noon.

Back and forth, over and over, while other chapters of the story began to make themselves known. I tried to stay away from sharp details, descriptions or feelings, as these can slip frustratingly away with no pen and paper on hand to take notes (note to self - devote that new blank notebook to travel, even poolside) but it was a productive swim.

No visual expressions are coming from this activity so far. It's a pretty mundane setting even with one entire wall  of glass looking out into the Georgia piney weeds and winter sky.  That activity seems to live in a different place in my head but now that I think about it there is a huge wall on one end that begs for a mural...
Ocean Homes

6 comments:

Nancy said...

I do my best (I think) writing in the shower, in the car, and just before falling asleep. I usually don't remember it quite the same when I go to write it down!
I love, love love, this Ocean Homes piece. The blues are gorgeous and the 'homes' invite you in to inspect closer.

Martha said...

Deb, while I was trying to convince myself to go to the Wellness Center for a little pool exercise, I read your blog post. Thanks for the push! I have enjoyed following your blog and love the embroidered silk pieces you are doing lately. I have made one called Silk with Stitches that is on my blog (with that title) in October.
http://www.marthaginn.blogspotcom

Els said...

Wish you a happy creative new year, and keep blogging so we can enjoy it too !

Serena said...

I wish we had a close indoor pool. I'm very proud of you, both for the swim and the brainstorming. That's hard work!

jude said...

i love this

Mary Ann said...

There is a great DVD called Inspiration and in it, Dale Chihuly talks about getting his creative ideas while surrounded by water. I always find swimming very meditative. Lucky you to have a great pool nearby.