Endorphins are such a wonderful thing! I just got back from today's visit to the fitness center, the third this week! That meets my minimum personal goal. Anything above three times a week, at this point, is gravy.
I feel wonderful. The blood's been pumping through the body, washing out depression and stress, replacing them with serenity and wellbeing. Can you believe that? I'm bragging about endorphins and good health after only THREE days, doing only 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. That should prove to me that God made our bodies to be quite remarkable things. (Oh, my blood pressure was higher than ever before I started, but dropped to almost normal levels when I left.)
I added a new element to the mix today. Pacer has clear acrylic book holders that fit over the treadmill monitors, so I was able to read as I walked. It is a bit tricky, trying to follow the text while bumping up and down with each step, but it's not bad. I managed to read 30 pages of a new book as I sweated.
I suspect several of us have a similar experience, having piles and piles of unread books stacked around the house. Writers tend to be drawn to the printed word (imagine that). And for those of you who aren't journalists, here's a secret. Newspapers, especially larger newspapers, tend to get tons and tons of review copies of new books. Periodically, these must be sent away or the newspaper building will sink into the ground. These purges are called "book grabs" and involve displaying boxes and boxes of books on a large conference table. The doors to the conference room are kept shut until a prescribed time, when a stampede of reporters and editors converge to grab the texts that interest them.
Used to be, I'd position myself at some spot around the table, searching for book titles that could be joined to make interesting sentences. I'd casually arrange the books to leave a message for anyone who would notice. Sometimes I'd have to help someone notice in the instances when I was particularly clever.
Certain people were known for collecting certain types of books, and we'd save them as an offering to curry favor. Some loved history books, others poetry, and one in particular collected all the porn type books. I'd grab whatever looked interesting to me at the time. Most were far too new to have gotten any hype -- after all, the publishers were hoping WE would hype these books to our readers. It's heck being a front-runner sometimes!
So, here's the conclusion of this lengthy essay. Once upon a time at one of the book grabs, I picked up a copy of a little book called "Art and Soul: 156 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit" by Pam Grout (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO., 2000).
It's a great, fun book -- at least the 30 pages I read on the treadmill this afternoon. I think anyone could find creative inspiration in this work, especially those who think they don't have (or need) any creative outlet.
Says Grout: "Now is the time to quit pushing that dream aside.
"Every dream that has ever tiptoed across your mind is a summons from God -- a summons that says, 'I need you.'
"On the day you were born, God presented you with a creative gift. It is a gift the world needs. Maybe your song won't be sung on David Letterman. It may never make the Top Forty list. But somebody out there needs to hear it. Maybe it's the 92-year-old shut-in who lives next door, who giggles every time she overhears you sing 'I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner' outside her bedroom window. Isn't that enough?"
"'But hasn't everything already been said?'
"Until we hear your version of this fierce and joyful world, there is more to be said. Each man looks upon the sunset with a slightly different eye."
Isn't that great? The world needs us! It needs our contributions! And it needs us now, not when we've earned another degree, taken another class, read another book about how-to. We already know how because God put it inside us. We just need TO.
There you go, folks. If you hear the whisper, listen to it and DO. Sometimes, to Do is as important as to Be. Do Be Do Be Do, as Frank says.
I can't wait to get back on the treadmill to read some more from this gem.