#293: A Groove

Residential sky. Tall pine tree.
North La Salle, Detroit, MI

Still working toward deadline, and in a feverish no-time-to-second-guess-myself groove – a great groove. The best groove. In the mornings, I’m re-reading dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, a book I first picked up ten-plus years ago and only remembered recently. The section on ruts and grooves has been particularly relevant now, in more ways than one. I particularly appreciate the distinction Ms. Tharp makes between a simple rut and a full-on block:

A rut is not writer’s block (or any other creative block). When you’re in a rut, at least you know your motor is running. Writer’s block means your engine has shut down and the tank is empty. Being blocked is most often a failure of nerve, with only one solution: Do something – anything.

This bit caught my attention too:

More often than not, I’ve found, a rut is the consequence of sticking to tried and tested methods that don’t take into account how you or the world has changed. It’s like your mother serving you the same breakfast you loved as a child. You push the meal away half-eaten and she says, “But you always loved Cocoa Puffs and pork sausage.” That was then, this is now.

I’m not sure if Ms. Tharp would entirely agree with this (I also happen to still love my childhood breakfasts), but I wrote, in my notes, after reading the above: RUTS ARE FORMER GROOVES. Maybe not always, but they can be – well-worn paths, things that have worked consistently before, but no longer do; roads that take you places you’ve already been, rather than the new destinations toward which you need to go.

So it may be more appropriate for me to say: I’m in a great groove, for now!