Saturday, October 17, 2009

Productivity suite

Open office
Laval, QC, August 2009

Call me antisocial, but I don't write well in the company of others. It gets even worse when we're away from home and I don't have my usual quiet places to go. When you're sleeping on a futon and pulling jammies out of a suitcase on the floor, the environment just isn't conducive to heads-down creativity.

So when we were visiting the mishpacha (family) a couple of months back - a lifetime, in retrospect - I found myself with stuff that needed to get done. So I headed down to the little marina nearby and became at one with nature. I was out of WiFi range, so I had no Internet. Working off of battery meant I had a finite amount of time to get it done before the laptop ran out of juice.

This strange little strategy of mine seemed to do the trick. Although the occasional early morning dogwalker meandered on by, the headphones in my ears convinced them that today wasn't a good day to play 20 Questions. Similarly, while on any other day the sight of ducks paddling back and forth in between the boats would draw me in, this time out I simply kept my head down and wrote. The ducks would be there later. For now, I had a deadline.

In the end, I wrote some lovely articles, which I saved to my BlackBerry and e-mailed to their respective faraway places before bundling everything under my arm and heading back inside for breakfast.

On this particular morning, I learned that sometimes you can indeed have your cake and eat it, too. The ducks would doubtless agree.

Your turn: The appeal of being beside bodies of water. Please discuss.


lissa said...

Lovely images - as always - that you paint in both words and pixels. I especially like how you boxed yourself into a must-write situation, working off battery and without wifi. Antisocial? Naw, more like introspective in privacy. And for you, that really does work, because the results are self-evident.

Bodies of water...well, as you know, I find my mom at Centennial Park, down by the lake, where she sends me bird messages. She was a bird watcher, a lover of nature, and a woman of simple, but elegant and classy taste. The herons I've seen each year on the anniversary of her death prove to me that she is still watching over me, and knows that I'm open to the signs of her presence all around.

I find water very comforting, meditative...and perhaps it's no coincidence that I am born under a water sign. It shows in my love of boats and boating, whale-watching, sea mammals and the smell of the ocean. The whale is one of my spirit guides (my feminine energy). I could sit on a beach and watch the water lap at the shore for hours. Some of my own best writing has taken place by the water. I have a small, but effective zen fountain in my front hallway; someday I hope to be able to buy one of the larger ones that will give me the ability to hear the water cascading over the rocks but for now, the one I have pleases me.

Water is akin to our emotions but also to our mother energy. Male or female, water symbolizes mother. We feel nurtured and cared for when we are by bodies of water (or in them - even a bath or shower!), just as when we floated in amniotic fluid. It is a primal sensation we are not aware of most of the time. And no wonder many people, water signs or not, do find inspiration by the shores or on the waters.

I could very easily live in a beach house or oceanside dwelling...

Anonymous said...

Carmi I LOVE being beside bodies of water, be it on foot or on the motorcycle. There is a strange calming affect that comes over me as I get near these beauties of nature.
A great post. I was there with you getting that work done, a voice waaay back in your head saying, "How cool is this?".

John said...

I too, love being beside a body of water. It's as if water is the one thing in nature that almost always has something to say. Whether it is just lapping on the sand or rushing down a mountain or laying in glassy silence, there seems to be a message being sent. Water is a language I believe everyone understands.

Mojo said...

I totally get the attraction, though I don't know that I can articulate it very well. there are those who find my affinity for the beach/ocean a little odd, and perhaps that's understandable. I'm not an especially good swimmer, and while I've yet to drown, I'm not anxious to test myself against the mighty Atlantic. As a consequence, I usually take a pass when it comes to actually being in the aforementioned body of water, but who says you have to be in it to appreciate it? There is an unparalleled majesty about the ocean, whether you're in it, on it, or simply beside it.

And I can tell ya, some of the most breathtaking photography I have done in my long life has been courtesy of a stream/pond/lake/ocean... even the occasional puddle.

Klaatu said...

i have almost no happy memories of my childhood. One that I do have is being at my grandparents cottage and being alone, listening to the wind in the trees and the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore.
I still find it peaceful and calming.