Thursday, November 10, 2011

Home is the Country of the Heart

It must be the influence of the season. It's a couple weeks to Thanksgiving and the December holidays are in the air. It's as explanatory as anything for why the words "home is the country of the heart" popped into my head just like that.

One minute the table was being cleared of the scattered newspaper sections. The next you know, the words lining up in my mind, I am diving for a pen.

The thought grabbed hold. I couldn't set it down. It has so much truth. It needs to keep going. It's the new heading for my web site. It puts into focus the aim of my writings.

The thousands of words already written have mirrored this concept all along without my quite recognizing it. Home is the country of the heart. This is the field, the thought tells me, in which my engines hum.

Thoughts come to all of us. Many are in the form of spontaneous advice or encouragement. We didn't even know what we're going to say until it's said. The right words and right thoughts show up because they come from a deep and caring place.

Unsolicited and freely appearing, either in conversation with others, or in quiet periods when our brain can pay attention, there's much wisdom to tap from others or our own selves.

This is an anniversary month for me when it comes to wisdom words. I first began writing down, on loose lined notepaper, compelling thoughts read or heard on TV or on the radio. My first entry is from 1986. It came from Glamour magazine.

"Listen to your inner voice," the article recommended. "Many experts on creativity believe that we're 'brainstorming' good ideas of all kinds (innovations for work, plans, gifts, decorating schemes, moneymaking ideas ...) all the time, but don't pay attention to them. Carry a notebook and jot down useful ideas as they occur. You'll see your creative self more clearly - a wonderful ego boost!"

It happens that I do carry a notebook with me. I like the comforting feel of pen in hand and the concept of pen and paper working together as a kind of team to keep me on track.

My notebook is more my mobile to-do list than anything. It's where what's needed from the store gets jotted down as I grab my handbag and head out the door at a run. On its tattered pages, slewing around in the depths of the purse, along with the eggs and milk reminders, are things to look up on the computer when I get home. Very occasionally something else gets noted down.

No brainstorms have arrived via the notebook as far as I can ascertain. This doesn't lessen its importance as a recorder of ideas. It's all part of training your mind to intercept, to use a football term, the ideas that show up unannounced. And most do come that way, no matter how much groundwork of thinking or preparation for the idea you've put into action.

Jotting down ideas - even if it's a note to match fuchsia scarf with your tweed jacket as seen on the person walking by - nudges your brain to observe and record useful information. Along with imagination, information is basic to harvesting the successes waiting to happen.

Profitable ideas don't need to materialize as dot-com enterprises. They can be, as with me, thoughts that make you smile or give a certain light to something or open a door to yet another thought.

Here are some thoughts recorded recently. Some come from other sources. A few are my own.

"Any small thing can save you" -title of book by Christina Adam read May 2011.

"Here's to getting lucky" -store sign at mall. I love the insouciance of this, especially as balance to catching my windblown image in the window glass on a blustery October afternoon.

"Life is better in a sweater." This is from The Limited, also seen at the mall. It's a favorite new thought. Life really is better in a sweater. They got that so right.

"Italian music even seems to understand where your heart is at the moment." This thought, which is mine as are the next three, came from a wonderful Italian restaurant complete with New York City ambience. I read the line and it's like the table is newly set to enjoy all over again.

"A good life is the cheerful adaptation of what comes along."

"Things have a way of being a little more interesting after you've had a little more experience."

"Happy times are meant to be shared." Happy start to the holidays everyone.

Ro Giencke - November 10, 2011

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