On Bored and Brilliant and Fostering Creativity

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to write a post about ways to jump-start creative thinking and generate new ideas. I just finished reading Manoush Zomorodi’s book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self, and it got me thinking about this topic again.

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Happy Birthday, Alexigraph!

Photo of flowers in Santorini with the text “We’re 1!”

Photo of flowers in Santorini with the text “We’re 1!”

After just a few days of planning, I started Alexigraph on January 8, 2017.  It took me nearly a full day to set up the site, but then I made my first post and I was off and running.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for a full year!  I love sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, and I truly appreciate you taking the time to read them, respond, and share.

In celebration of one year of blogging, I’m rounding up some of my personal favorite posts from the past year (in no particular order).  I know, it’s a long list — I had trouble narrowing it down! Read more

The Power of Poetry

Four poetry books stacked on a counter

While searching for Monday’s Quote of the Week, I found myself traveling down a rabbit hole of poetry about autumn.  I don’t often take the time to read and contemplate poems at length, but when I do, I’m rarely disappointed.  There’s something about a poem that can communicate a feeling so profoundly.  Free from prose’s need to explain everything in complete sentences, poetry can make its point through images and metaphors, playing with rhythm and structure in ways that make the reader appreciate language like never before.  A great poem has the power to make me feel connected to its author through universal human experience, conveyed with just the right words.

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Why Do We Create?

A tiny gold sculpture of a goat
A small gold sculpture of a goat, discovered during the excavation of Akrotiri

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini island in Greece, along with a couple of museums housing works of art discovered at the site.  Observing items that were created thousands of years before the common era led me to think about humans’ desire to make art.  The pieces on display were not limited to pottery designed to hold water and foodstuffs, nor to religious symbols.  There were elaborate wall paintings and meticulously crafted sculptures of animals and human figures.  Like other artists throughout history, these people of the distant past devoted time and scarce resources to producing beautiful objects that served no obvious utilitarian purpose.  Our drive to make things that we don’t really need is unique to humans and appears to be deeply ingrained.  Why do we do it?

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Summer Slow-Down: Learning to Relax

A beach with two people relaxing under a pair of palm trees

As my mom will tell you, I’ve never very been good at relaxing.  Since about sixth grade, I’ve been involved in all sorts of things.  As an adult, you will rarely find me sitting down when I’m at home.  I tend to spend my evenings and weekends working out, doing yard work, doing laundry or other chores around the house, attending a meeting or event, visiting friends, or working on some kind of project.  I pretty much never sit in front of a television, and my relaxation time is usually scheduled (e.g., yoga class, meditation group, occasional massage or mani/pedi).

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