Monday, July 21, 2008

The Poplar Grove

When I took a writing group to France in June, we walked from the chateau to a poplar grove. This was as close as I got to the trees. Others wandered through the swampy grass--you wouldn't know it was there by looking--and tried to get into the grove. At one point the trees had been surrounded by a moat and finding a way in was almost impossible. Only one in the group succeeded.

I was content to lie in the grass and write, from afar. Sandra, who sat with me briefly, said: "I'm having explorer envy." I wasn't. And when the others came back, shoes ruined or as somebody with an artistic bent called them, "distressed," Sandra was just as glad she had stayed put.

So was I. I don't usually care about going the extra distance. I don't have to pitch a tent and camp to get the feel of a mountain. I'm happy to spend an hour or two on the trail and then return to the comfy hotel.

Same with museums. I can spend a morning in one gallery and be perfectly happy. I don't want or need to take in the entire collection.

And when I'm in a foreign city, I'd rather walk the streets and sit at an outdoor cafe, soaking up the ambiance, than tour the famous sites.

Some would--and do--call me lazy. Maybe they're right. But I like to say that I enjoy letting my mind fill in a lot of the details. I don't have to experience everything up close and personal.

And I try to tell writers that too. Give enough details but leave room for the reader's imagination to fill in with its own vast vision.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this one very much -- because, of course, I am the same!