My wife, Lady Glynis, and I are both on vacation this week. She is in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and has gone to the Pennsic War. The Pennsic War is an event the SCA holds every year at Cooper's Lake near New Castle, Pennsylvania. People come from all over the world. Officially Pennsic is a war between the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. Unofficially they fight to see who gets to include Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in their Kingdom. The loser gets Pittsburgh. :-)
Lady Glynis is a good cook, and has attained honors within the SCA for her skill. She is apprenticed to Master Huen (see A Boke of Gode Cookery). With Master Huen and his other apprentices she has prepared the feast for the Alabama State Renaissance Faire. As a result of her talent and skill, people vie for her services. One group offered to pay her way to the war this year if she would cook for them. She consented, and so there she is.
I, on the other hand, don't have the interest in the medieval period that my wife has, but I try to schedule a vacation while she's there so I can stay home. So what exciting things do I do while Lady Glynis is gone? I...get ready for this....clean! Yes, you heard me right. I clean. I go through the closets. I search the spare room. I ransack the basement. I empty the porch. I find all the clutter that has gathered over the past year and take it out to the curb for the garbage men to pick up. (I know they just love me that week on garbage day. We try to make up for it with the delicious cookies Lady Glynis cooks for them at Christmas.) Sometimes I paint. Other times I rearrange the furniture. I've even been known to rearrange rooms completely.
Lady Glynis' trip a thousand years back in time takes her completely from the mundane world. She assumes a role, a character she has created over the years that takes no account of computers, telephones, or electricity. Her daily routine is disrupted in the most extreme fashion, allowing the sparks of creativity that lie within us all to make their way into consciousness.
My ritual of destruction, on the other hand, isn't quite so obvious a means of renewal, but that only demonstrates how individual the ways to break out of the trap of habit can be.
I've spoken before of the correlation between the outer seeming of the world and our inner being. For me, cleaning the clutter from the house has the reflex action of cleaning the clutter from my mind. I rearrange my mental furniture as I rearrange my physical furniture. As I go through items the circumstances of how they were received, what event in our lives they commemorated, what habits of thought and action they symbolized are recalled as I make the decision of whether to keep an item or put it out of my life. Starbucker discussed this aspect of going through memorabilia earlier this week. By the end of the week I am starting afresh, and when Lady Glynis returns she returns to a new world. We are both able to look at the world through fresh eyes.
What ways do you have to get out of your everyday box? Do they reawaken you to the possibilities of your life?