Friday, July 31, 2009

My Summer Secret

The Beach. A few hours on the beach and suddenly I can write again. That is my summer secret. When I can’t write. When I cannot find the words. When I am not sure I will ever write another sentence I go to the beach.

It does not have to be an exotic beach that requires a plane ride. It does not have to require the three hour drive to my favorite beaches in Amagansett. It is as easy as the hour ride to Long Beach.

The sound of the ocean, the smell of salt water, an umbrella, a chair, a cooler with refreshments and within a few hours I can write again.

I don’t come to the beach to write. I come to sit and to read someone else’s writing. Not the newspaper. Too depressing. Fiction. Memoir. Escapist literature. And from the words of someone else I am left inspired.

About a month ago I had a conversation with a very successful French Canadian businessman who remarked how ridiculous the hours are Americans work. He found it incredulous that the corporate work ethic is this country does not see the benefit in breaks, that they miss the point that often it is those times when we completely remove ourselves from those crammed schedules, without phone or email access that we get our very best ideas.

It would have been considered sacrilegious back in my corporate days had I ever suggested to anyone I worked for that perhaps what we needed to shake things up, to find our creativity, that new idea, the one we were looking for, was an afternoon on the beach.

My summer secret would have been seen as bad work ethic, the culture too attached to the idea that only constant motion will propel things forward. When the truth is that the separation is the thing that makes everything look so much clearer.

Now that my secret's out, Beach anyone ?

No comments: