Every once in a while, no matter how much might be happening or what you’re supposed to be doing or even how straightforward the task it, getting it done can be a bit of a struggle. Art is a great example of that. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do, paint a picture, play a musical instrument or write an arts column, when you hit that point where creation becomes a struggle, taking a step back is almost always the way to go.
This morning was a great example of that. I’m normally all set and ready to get this column written when I wake up, but for some reason I wasn’t finding what I was looking for today. I asked around, but the only suggestion I could get for something write about was going to the park (this came from my two-year-old). It wasn’t the most helpful suggestion I could have gotten, although it wasn’t the worst. My little girl and I wandered over to the park for a good solid play session and then made our way back home and by the time we were home, I’d figured out what I was going to write about.
Taking a step back from a project that’s causing you a bit of grief and taking some time to exercise a part of your mind that you might not otherwise use, say by playing in a park or doing something else with a child, is a great way to shut down the part of your brain that’s dealing with the problem. My girl is great for that because she’s always asking me to stop what I’m doing and play something for her on whatever the closest musical instrument is and I’ve always found that switching gears like that helps.
If you don’t have kids, or maybe if your kids have grown up, and you’re looking for a way to get out and switch gears you have a few options. If you really want to tap into the wonder of being a child, rumour has it that Summerland is absolutely crawling with Pokemon. I mean, sure, it’s a game that is targeted at kids, but it also provides a great excuse to get out and explore the town a little bit. Not only that, it’s also a really interesting way of playing games. I’ve tinkered around with a little bit and, although I’m not the target demographic, as I’ve said, the concept of the game is worth even just a few minutes of exploration. You might just discover a new part of town because you’re trying to find some critter or another out there.
If, like my two-year-old, you’d like to hear a bit of music this week, there’s something happening almost every day from Wednesday on the Water, with Good Enough for Dad this week, straight through to the buskers at the Sunday Farmer’s Market, who are always worth listening to. If you’re really lucky, the ukelele petting zoo will be set up again.
Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at email@example.com.