The Merits of Pacing
Related to the ideas regarding space, time, tools, and how we do our work and achieve peace, I do my best thinking when pacing. I alluded to this a few weeks back regarding my creative process:
As I begin writing, things begin to take shape. I write a little. I pace a lot. I meditate on the idea(s) I’m working on. I refer back to the books and resources I used, reading as I pace. I write a little more.
I would be remiss to gloss over the pacing; it’s vital to finding peace and clarity amongst the turmoil of competing thoughts. And it makes me think of C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, Ben Franklin. I know, everyone wants to review and mimic the daily rituals of a lot of old dead people. That’s not what I’m getting at here.
But one thing does stand out when I read about some of these great thinkers of the past. These guys jealously guarded their daily walks. I can understand why. Here’s a part of how Lewis described his ideal day (emphasis mine):
By two at the latest I would be on the road. Not, except at rare intervals, with a friend. Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one … who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.
It’s what our team at Wildbit lovingly refers to as the “daily constitutional” (a double entendre to be sure). And whether getting away from your desk brings you to the busy streets of a metropolitan centre, or the woods on your acreage, the value is there. The subconscious is free to work on your behalf, rather than you continuing to make the effort in vain while distractions aplenty flow across your screen.
I’m beginning to sound repetitive, but the best things take repetition. Habit takes repetition. And I for one need the constant reminder that all my work does not take place when in front of a computer.&