Thursday, November 19, 2009

One step leads to another


Walking leads me to places in my mind. There are two kinds of walking. One with a friend--chatty and all about catching up on gossip, listening to rants, sharing joys and sorrows. I'm talking about the other kind of walking where I'm alone, just me and my mind gone strolling. Sometimes I write whole scenes of my novels while walking.
Today, this California buckwheat caught my eye, rust-colored in its final stage of life but gorgeous against a granite boulder. I stopped to take its picture and began thinking about how death can be beautiful.
Leaves turn red and yellow when trees block off their sap supply to prepare for winter freeze. The leaves have to die to protect the trees. But it is most glorious, is it not?
In such a case, death is a sigh, a rustle on the wind, a sweet release. What would life mean if there was no death? It will take me many walks to ponder that.
As I got close to home, a man sat alone on his porch in the twilight playing a saxophone. I lingered a moment, letting the richness of the notes lead me like a Pied Piper to the streets of New Orleans. I can walk a long way in my mind and never get tired. Do you?

21 comments:

Donna said...

I appreciate your recognition of death in life. We need those opposites as we write and live.

Walk on. The imagination is a fine companion.

Tabitha Bird said...

"Death is a sigh" I like that :)

And no, my imagination and I never tire of walking together ;)

PJ Hoover said...

Seriously? You have an amazing imagination. I love this, Tricia!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: I like that: the imagination is a fine companion. :)

Tabitha: There are many ways to consider a sigh. I shall think of us both companionably walking with our imaginations.

PJ: Thanks so much, my friend.

Natalie said...

Beautiful imagery--I could see the buckwheat and hear the saxophone player :) I love quiet time to think and plot.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Natalie: Thank you! I definitely work best in quiet, not a busy cafe, although I can in a pinch.

Mary said...

The imagery was awesome - I do the same thing. I like to walk before I write and build the story up in my mind.

Suzyhayze said...

I wish I could walk with you! I'd love to walk with you.....

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Mary: Hi and welcome! Really I think walking and writing go hand in hand.

Suzanne: me, too :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Great post. Another great example of the yin and yang of life. But I love that the soundtrack was a saxophone.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for coming by. Great point about the sax, it was the perfect soundtrack.
I notice you have been writing crazy for NaNo. I think it's fun we are both out to sea ;)

Sliding on the Edge said...

Walking is my passion. All I need is good shoes and some trail, so you struck a chord here with me. Thanks.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I just discovered your blog, but this is kind of eery!

Just today I was looking outside at my wildflowers, now covered in snow and wishing for spring. But there, popping their heads above the white, were two dead blossoms, their petals still clinging to the color yellow.

It was just one of those moments, this one reminding me to appreciate each day as it comes.

And I love to walk- I come up with great ideas while walking. And driving.

I'll definitely be back to check out your blog!

Barrie said...

Walking definitely helps me come up with new ideas and/or work out the kinks it what I'm writing. I generally end up walking with the dog.

Linda Kage said...

I love solitary walks. I think they're the best medicine for a writer, because you think up the best parts of your story on a walk, like deep emotional human-experience themes. I really appreciated the book "On Writing" by Stephen King because he talked about how much he loved to take his walks. I think that book was actually inspired by the one walk he took where a car hit him (or maybe it wasn't--sounds good to me anyway!).

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lee: Good shoes and a trail. Sounds like an opening I'd love.

Stephanie: Welcome. I love the images in nature that we can reflect on. Thanks for that.

Barrie: Hi! I don't currently have a dog, but they are definitely good walking companions, so interested in the world. I like the 'work out kinks' idea, too, because there's something about walking that does loosen knots inside us.

Linda: Hey there, what a neat idea--medicine for the writer. And, yes, you hit it with the emotional themes, that's what we find and need.

Robyn Campbell said...

Oh the quiet time. How wonderfully superb.

And I could definitely picture Pied Piper Tricia strolling down the street, onward to New Orleans. YEAH!

I hope nano is treating you well. I missed ya pal!

beth said...

Wow. Lovely!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: That's me, a pied piper ;) NaNo and I are good buddies right now. I always miss you when you unplug but I hope it was productive.

Beth: Hi and thanks!

Lisa and Laura said...

I like all kinds of walks, but it's nice knowing that we'll never get tired of our walks down imaginary lane. Beautiful post.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

LiLa: I love those imaginary lanes. Thanks!