Skip to content

Cop a Squat

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

For our last creative nudge, we became better acquainted with the industrious insects that keep our ground sound. So much depends on those little red ants. Perhaps you made up some silly dialog for an ant looking for the perfect place to put down an unearthed pebble. Did you sort through the little discard piles ants leave near their nests? Did you find something valuable in what they left at their curb? Even if you just left that ant nest in better shape than you found it, I hope looking down provided a much needed creative boost. 

This week, our creative nudge invites us to take a seat, quite literally, and delve into a world of sensory exploration and introspection. The chair, often ignored beyond it’s simple function, is about to become the centerpiece of our creative contemplation.  

Every chair has a story. Maybe it's the dining chair that's witnessed countless family dinners, or the rocking chair that's lulled generations to sleep. They're gateways to memories, catalysts for creativity, and anchors in our ever-changing world.

Chairs come in all shapes and sizes, from the grand armchairs of old libraries to the simple stools of a breakfast bar. We’ve built them to carry with us everywhere we go. Why? Because we know when we get to wherever we are going, we will want to sit down a minute!

Chairs offer a unique vantage point, a moment of pause, and an opportunity to engage with our surroundings in new and imaginative ways. The invention and broad use of chairs made a huge change to our days, and literally reshaped our bodies. Use one or more of these body positive activities as you lean back into several minutes of creative play:

  1. Compass Creation: Imagine yourself as the center of a compass, sketch out what lies to your north, south, east, and west. It could be objects, memories associated with that direction, or even sounds and smells.
  2. Zen Deconstruction: Visualize the chair you're sitting on and mentally deconstruct it, piece by piece. Remove the backrest, the armrests, the cushion, and the legs. At what point does it cease to be a chair?
  3. The Art of Sitting: Write a note to a friend, extolling the virtues of taking a seat. Share the benefits of pausing to recharge creatively or the joy of rewarding oneself after a day of hustle and bustle.
  4. Chair Says What: Ever wonder why we preface bad news with the phrase, “You’re gonna wanna sit down for this”? Ponder other ways that chairs provide care for more than our derriere.

As you explore these activities, let the chair be a reminder of the importance of pausing, reflecting, and savoring the simple moments. After all, creativity flourishes not in the hustle and bustle, but in the quiet moments. In our fast-paced world, the act of simply sitting and taking a moment for oneself can be a singularly decadent moment of our day.

Note: This column written with the help of ChatGPT Plus and related Plugins.