As much as I may begin to twitch at the mention of Julia Cameron, I have benefitted personally and creatively from the occasional Artist Date, a purposeful step-away-from-the-desk-and-nobody-gets-hurt practice of briefly changing the scenery and taking in sights, sounds, textures and images to “refill the tank,” so to speak. My last date took place a bit inadvertently, but worked out well just the same.
I need to get my mail. I live on a cul de sac in a 1970s subdivision on the very south edge of a town that is small, but not too small to have a subdivision that escaped the postal service’s door-to-door delivery zoning, so my mail is delivered to a communal mailbox station at the end of my street. I’m sure the postal service has a proper name for such a thing, as well as the residential zoning that makes it possible for my mail to be delivered a block from my house instead of to a quaint black box with a lid that slams shut right outside my front door.
When I was small, the mail came through a slot in the wall and dropped into a receptacle in my front entry. I would see the mail carrier walking across the lawn and stand by the slot with my hand in the receptacle to catch it, my back pinned flat against the wall between the octagon-shaped window above and the front door so he didn’t see me waiting like I had nothing else to do but try to catch mail randomly dropping through a slot in the wall.