May 26, 2016

The Wander Society by Keri Smith



"When we constantly fill up all of our 'empty' time with stimulation in the form of electronic devices, games, and distractions, our brains become disengaged and the thinking process is effectively halted. We never get to hear our own inner voice-- we don't develop a relationship with ourselves and our minds. We don't get to know who we are because we are not listening."

"But if we make a conscious effort to not distract ourselves, as psychologist Sandi Mann says, 'We might go off in our heads to try and find that stimulation by our minds wandering, daydreaming.'

This is such a great little book about wandering through nature and reconnecting to our environments. It includes a variety of simple experiments to "creatively disrupt everyday life." Using our powers of observation and openness, we can fill the hole left in us from a life ruled by technology. 

I really loved just taking a breather and noticing all of the little things around me as I wandered. I wandered through a small patch of woods beside my house; I wandered around a lake and a marina; I wandered around the edges of a nearby park; I wandered through the streets in an area and neighborhood I was not familiar with; I wandered even in my own yard where I noticed a new bird's nest and a beautiful butterfly that landed and fluttered very close to me. I have drawn more art and I have found myself to be more creative. I have found myself to be more grateful in life, too.

In one section of the book Smith lists other wanderers - Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Charles Baudelaire, Aristotle, Virginia Woolf, among others - and I had a thought.  Forrest Gump was totally a wanderer!!!  I love Forrest Gump.  So while I was wondering I remembered that I was in good company with all of these awesome people (real and fictional). 

I will definitely be wandering more in the future and making notes of my surroundings and observing like a real explorer of my environment!  Thanks to Heather (Capricious Reader) for recommending it to me!

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