Saturday, April 27, 2013


Slate has been running a series of articles about the daily rituals of creative people.  
A recent entry by Mason Currey (here) says that many composers and philosophers (including Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Kierkegaard) loved taking long walks. They often found inspiration during their walking:
Beethoven went for a vigorous walk after lunch, and he always carried a pencil and a couple of sheets of paper in his pocket, to record chance musical thoughts. Gustav Mahler followed much the same routine—he would take a three- or four-hour walk after lunch, stopping to jot down ideas in his notebook. Benjamin Britten said that his afternoon walks were "where I plan out what I’m going to write in the next period at my desk."
I like the idea that walking stimulates creativity.  It certainly can free the mind: is it something about the rhythm of your legs and your lungs synching up with your brain to make everything feel good and work well? 
I assume that proponents of yoga and meditation would say something similar about the positive effects of their routines.
578.  Of the people I know, who walks the most and/or the longest? I think Ed Bain might walk the most (Liz might be a close second?), but does he walk the longest?
579. What percentage of students in Charlottesville walk to school?
580. Was Thomas Jefferson a big walker?  Or did he prefer to be on horseback?  What about Obama - does he take many walks around the White House grounds?
581.  The azaleas in our neighborhood are amazing right now. What has the longest life span: an azalea, a rhododendron, or a rose bush?
582. If I had to rank the twelve months in order of preference, would April be #1?  Based on the recent weather and natural beauty, April would be a serious contender.  October and May would probably be near the top, but April might win out.

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