Familiarity may breed contempt but what if you pushed through contempt to force a fresh perspective?
Routine can make us tune out and fog over. And in mid-winter, when the holiday glow is long gone and the promise of summer is impossible to hold, the monotony can feel overwhelming.
But because the answer to challenge is almost always to work through rather than against, I'm doing my best to embrace the same old, same-old routine of life. In fact, this week I've urged and encouraged the familiar to settle into my writing.
Every day this week I've set aside 15 minutes to write about marigold garden. I have no attachment to marigolds, and don't enjoy gardening, but this topic has, quite surprisingly, stretched me. With these two words, I've reached back to recall companion planting, salsa, a funeral, hot summer days, and the creation of the Mariposa Community Garden in Denver. These two words have taken me places!
Try this: From the nearest book, randomly choose a short phrase or a string of two to three words. Don't think, just pick.
This is your phrase, and each day you'll write on or about this phrase. Again, don't think, just write. Let the pen explore ideas and connections. See where the phrase takes you. Don't make sense. Or do. Let go.
Tomorrow, write again using the same phrase. And the next day, do the same. Use this phrase for one week.
You may grow frustrated, or bored, but keep on. When you push through the familiar, when you explore it from all angles and depths, your mind and body grows restless, then fevered, to find fresh ground. You move beyond what you think you know.
Try it, and let me know where this writing practice takes you.