I hold my hands up. This isn’t my usual type of blog post. You might be feeling kind enough to humour me. If not, I hear that a celebrity has had another baby – Google away if you will. For those of you sticking around, I’ll keep it shorter than usual.
Today, I was feeling somewhat poorly and sorry for myself. Throw in a dash or two of procrastinating over a piece of work and you’ll find me sitting in the garden with a coffee. It was much needed mental health time: sunshine, birdsong, trying out my newly purchased binoculars without alarming the neighbours, etc. But was I truly relaxed? No, not particularly. As usual my brain was careering along a railroad of thoughts; sometimes useful, sometimes not, but generally fairly random with no perceivable connection between each.
The most annoying thing (although useful in my profession) is that my thoughts tend to be composed. Not composed in the sense of together, but composed in the sense of being formed as if I’m writing them down on paper and making sure they are structurally and grammatically sound. I can’t even think freestyle. Most annoying. (Although perhaps not as annoying as the times I can only think in a perfectly rounded block of 140 characters thanks to overuse of Twitter.)
Without a crash course in advanced meditation, how could I force myself to ditch the chatter (albeit it beautifully drafted chatter) inside my head? I looked up at the blue sky and realised that it was the first time I’d done so since sitting down outside. And – oh look! – there’s a tree, a bird, stuff existing outside the bony world of my skull. It was my modest Eureka moment. For once I was actually telling my brain to STFU (Mum, you’ll have to Google that acronym) – there’s a bigger world out there and in the sunshine it looks darned beautiful.
What follows may seem bonkers and a sorry reflection of the state of my mind. I decided to draw a picture of what I could see. But this wasn’t to be a picture of the objects I could see. It was going to be picture of how things move: a movement map. That’s right, you’ve read it here first and I’ll remind you in a few years’ time when academics are writing books about it and employees are being forced to attend corporate residential movement mapping courses.
Here it is:
It’s nothing special. It’s not artistic. It might look like something a toddler would bring home from nursery and you’d shove in a drawer until it was acceptable to bin it. Beauty inspired it but it was never meant to look beautiful. Yet it is strangely visual. It’s amazing that things can move so gently and yet, under the same breeze, so differently. (I hope, here, you haven’t forgotten your agreement to humour me.)
What it gave me was 15 minutes of peace. A short span of time where there were no negative voices sticking pins in my ears and I didn’t have to compose my thoughts in adherence with editorial submission guidelines. If you’re moved by it, try it. You might like it.