It was a day like countless other days. Get up. Get the kidlets to rise and shine. Get in car.
Go south, turn left. There, at the end of the road almost like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is our first stop, Emma’s school.
I rarely expect for anything new to arrive on the short trip, but earlier this year I noticed a flock of birds sitting at all four traffic lights at an intersection. Every day we would watch them swirling and following each other and landing and the next set swirling and following and the next set in a natural synchronized flying adventure.
Lately, though, my eyes have been caught up and intrigued by an entirely different form of eye candy.
There is an empty lot on the way to school that is in a rather “sketchy” neighborhood. I use that term because that is what my daughters would say. In this empty lot there has recently been a shopping cart convention underway. I watch it every day to see if any new “members” have arrived or if anyone has carefully arranged them or pulled them apart.
The view changes each day.
The first time I noticed, I was drawn by the rainbow of shopping cart colors. Someone had arranged the carts in a tidy almost bouquet looking arrangement.
Yesterday in the afternoon when my son and I were driving there, we saw a little girl and her father there, in the empty lot. The father was emptying out one of the blue carts – from Petsmart – and was apparently going to use it in some way.
Maybe it isn’t a shopping cart convention, perhaps it is a shopping cart library where you can check them in and out as needed.
For me it has been another fascination to follow both creatively and sociologically. It is a sign of the times in my town and a sign of what to you?
My creativity has certainly been heightened. First, it was a sight that begged to be photographed. I responded, naturally. Samuel was patient with me – again – as I pulled off the road at a random place for the great shot I stumbled upon.
- Choose to be aware of even the smallest change along your usual routes or in your usual places. I am literally never bored from living this lifestyle of being alert and awake. Instantly the most mundane turn into fascinating subjects.
- Ask others what random surprises they have had lately. If they haven’t had any random surprises lately it is like an invitation you have both issued so that random, interesting “stuff” will begin to show up. Change your conversations from pop culture talks to what is true and tangible in the world you share daily with others.
- Create SOMETHING from the surprises you find. Write a poem, a couple sentences in your notebook, a sketch, a photo, a conversation with others. Post your words or images on facebook and see what your friends see and notice.
- Make connections – sometimes the odd images that pop into our surroundings actually have a message for us when we use our intuition rather than our logical, thinking brain. Think of synchronicity as defined by Carl Jung the experience of two or more events that are unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner.
- Continue to engage yourself and your curiosity in conversation” about the surprise you encountered. I know after I found the shopping carts I had an incredibly wild, detailed and refreshing dream. I haven’t had that sort of dream in years with so many scenes and vivid colors, characters and textures. I can’t stop thinking about the shopping carts nor can I stop looking at them. As crazy as I sound, I can also tell you it also fits in the ridiculously fun category – and that is enough for me to pursue almost anything.
It would delight me to know how you replace boredom with aliveness and passion. What are your favorite strategies?
Why not try one of my suggestions and report back here?
I would love to hear from you.
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© 2013 by Julie Jordan Scott