COMBINATIONS AND SEQUENCES By John Watts

 

Everyone knows some friend or acquaintance that prides themselves on efficient errand running and bargain saving.  That impressive individual that commands the consummate consumer crown of saving pennies at the gas pump while also finding the right grocery store for coupons and prices that keep the family budget trim.

But it’s time we become more mindful of the right brained counterpart to this planner.  By this I am referring to that eccentric, easily overlooked soul that can make time stop momentarily by linking meaningful road side stops on the same drive; that endlessly distracted dreamer who can milk all the possibilities out of a loop trail or a straight back and forth road.

Someone who files away all the little combinations and sequences inherent in every landscape; linked by sidewalks and crosswalks and keeps returning again and again to reintegrate the practical with the aesthetic—and moreover; a person who can grasp adventurous possibilities beyond the face value of a shopping center or even a hospital.

When you begin to link together all the local possibilities, you naturally begin to visualize the bigger picture of all the physical and cultural flow of places and their relation to each other.

For our region, this can mean developing an acute appreciation and awareness of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and all the headwaters, confluences, and mouths of its tributaries.  But it should also mean cultivating a heartfelt love affair with favorite old towns and how animated they become when centered around railroads and rivers.

So, if you really want to incorporate everything into your errands and exercise both sides of your brain—might I suggest this:  that while you are picking up your prescription at CVS, getting bargain deals at Aldi, or filling up gas at Sheetz, don’t forget to duck away somewhere very close-by and overlooked; perhaps that geese pond across from the movie theater, or the local city park tucked away in the woods, or perhaps you are lucky enough to be near a battlefield—heck if you’re feeling really crazy you might even try doubling  back behind that nearby shopping center, past the pizza delivery cars and down into a back alley and thru a gape in the fence, where you are soon surrounded  by Sycamore trees bending down over a creek leading to the river which ultimately flows on to the bay.

But before I run my sentences off the page into complete chaos without a period in sight, I think you get the picture.

Remember—whole worlds exist away from the store fronts!

Interact with the world around you.  No GPS can do this.

Oh–and take your dog with you!  Dogs always ensure that you get a SOLID, fully sensory integrated adventure whilst you are checking off your “To Do” list!

And, as a final caveat—if you adhere to these tips and apply them to your own unique interests, you might just find that the internal mental map you develop from pursuing all these sequential combinations, will in turn keep you great company late at night due to all the happy memories you will stockpile.

And I believe this to be a much more enduring claim than that of the right brained person who knows only the short-term adulation of being a thrifty cost cutter.

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About John Watts

I like to write transcendental community based essays and stories along with photo journalism pieces.
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