Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | February 20, 2018

Keeping yourself immersed in creativity

When I was leaving work the other day, I went from an open area of the train station into a corridor that would lead to outside. There was a violinist playing in the open area which always fills the room as it is large with high ceilings and the sound carries well. I usually stop to listen but that day I didn’t. As I passed through the next corridor, I saw a clarinetist start to play. Now I paused, and turned around to go into the previous room.

I listened to the violinist for about a minute, recognizing one of the Bach suites but couldn’t completely place it. I gave him a tip when he was finished with it and nodded my head to him. He returned the smile and nod.

I went back into the corridor and heard the clarinetist play through some jazz riffs. Different feel than the classical of the violin but equally mesmerizing to me. Perhaps mentally liberating is a better term for it. I gave him a tip and got a handshake out of it as well. I thanked him for putting a smile on people’s faces.

Being in a career that is not involved with writing or any other creative endeavor, the only way to experience the fruits of that creativity is by deliberate action on my part. I have to make the time to go outside of my work building during the day for breaks, and maybe I’ll get lucky and hear the violinist play (there are several young students that will occasionally play in that area of the train station). I find these walks to be very effective stress relievers as well, and not only because of the physical activity.

Some months ago I had an errand to do during lunch and found myself in the underground concourse of Philly, which connects several train stations (what is it with my attraction to train stations?). I was with a coworker and, drawn by the smell of nuts cooking from a local store, were discussing if we wanted to buy any. We had already passed a guitarist down there, and around the corner from this nut store was a cellist and violinist playing together. I told my coworker that we needed to change position. We moved to a location where we could hear both instruments and smell the nut store all at the same time. The two different genres of music, the smells of the stores, and the surrounding sights and sounds of all the people moving around down there was fantastic. This is heaven to me. I only wish I could have stayed longer to appreciate it.

Most days I stay in at work and never get out of the office until it’s time to leave. Those are the days where going outside and seeing someone in a freeform expression of creativity is needed most. It can be a stress reliever, and it also tunes your mind to more creative endeavors as well.

What are your favorite methods for keeping the creative world close?

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