Short can be a challenge for me, not only in my writing (cuz, hey, I write prose) but also in my thinking. I like to meditate deeply on subjects. Really chew on them. I prefer books to articles, long hikes to short sprints, etc. You get the metaphor.
But it can be good to spend a little time on one small problem to warm up your brain. Some people do crosswords and Sudoku. Others enjoy game sites like Lumosity.
Lately, I’ve been reading poetry first thing. Not a lot of poetry. Just one poem. The first poem I find, whether it’s on my bookshelf or my twitter feed. Poems are funny in that they’re ubiquitous. You don’t expect them to be; you think they’re shut up in little dusty boxes and hidden away at universities. But if you pay attention, they really are everywhere:
In college, for poetry month (April), we used to write them on the sidewalks in chalk. We got nice notes from the faculty and the administration about it (it was fun without that). Once, I found out it annoyed some of the other students. They didn’t want to see poetry on their way to class in the mornings or as they walked to the library.
I still don’t understand that, really. Especially now, when I read a poem just as I’m waking up. It turns on the lights in my brain. My poem from this morning is “The Transmigration of Souls” by Deborah Digges.
What are your preferred brain stretches?