Clearing The Cobwebs

It’s good to challenge yourself by setting new goals or figuring out how to do something you want.

Sometimes the best thing, though, is to clear the cobwebs by concentrating on something completely different or a change of scenery.  I did both by spending the weekend in New York. 

Instead of concentrating in my own work I gorged myself on other people’s work.  Nearly every waking moment was spent in a museum or art gallery.  It was a mixture of things that got me thinking. 

For instance, I noticed a fireplace piece and a small statue at the old Frick house that prominently featured harpies.  However, they weren’t like the harpies I was used to seeing or reading.  None of them had wings.  So what happened?  Was there a time period where harpies were depicted without their wings?  Or was it an aesthetic choice of the artists? 

Other stops included the New Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Gallerie, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as well as several others.  Paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, multimedia presentations, books… all art forms that assault various senses can help a writer focus.  Sitting on a park bench and having blossoms fall on me like snowflakes was one way I soaked up spring time in the city.  I think it’s my favorite time of year there.  Some people will actually pick up a paint brush or charcoal to clear the cobwebs and use another part of their brain.  I am not so ambitious as to do that.

The best part of the weekend was sleeping in and not having to turn off my Sammy alarm clock.  No, I don’t name my alarm clocks; he’s the current resident Corgi at the Stults estate.  Unlike our first Corgi, Sammy is an early riser and didn’t come with a snooze alarm.  The weekend away meant no responsibilities whatsoever other than making sure I relaxed.

The results of clearing my cobwebs have been fruitful – I’ve begun working on a new non-fiction piece and a book review.


  1. I know exactly what you mean! Travel always inspires me. Reading a book, going to a museum, or being outdoors always gets my creative juices flowing too, or at the very least, serve as a welcome diversion from all the other projects I’m working on.

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