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Sock It to Me

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.

Last time we met, our creative journey brought us beneath the leafy canopies of trees. We stimulated our creative energies through sensory immersion, artistic expression, and reflection on the restorative power of green spaces. Did you try a (fully clothed) forest bath in one of our city parks? Perhaps you came across a tree trimming crew maintaining our urban forests and recorded the cacophony of sounds they create. Whether sketching the sprawling branches of an intrusive Shamel Ash or composing poetry atop a whispering pine, each activity brings us closer to understanding the vital role trees play in both our environmental and creative ecosystems.

This week, we're shifting our focus from the natural grandeur of trees to a personal object providing hours of comfort to your day: socks.  There’s no end to the diversity and personal expression possible in this fashion accessory. These pedestrian footwear decisions capture our style, mood, and whimsy. There’s even socks that make it look like you’re not wearing socks! Ever had an outfit ruined by a lost sock? Maybe this week’s creative nudge will uncover that wormhole in your lint screen where all the bored socks go! Ready to discover just how much creative and tactile joy these supportive items can offer? Try one, or a pair, of these activities for several minutes of creative focus:

  1. To the Sock Drawer! Test the textures of various socks. By feel alone, can you sort cotton, wool, synthetic blends, and silk? Stretch them, scrunch them, and run your fingers along any patterns or embossments. Describe the textures in a journal and reflect on how these different sensations make you feel.
  2. Fate’s Footwear: For a fun twist on routine, let fate decide your socks for the day—or the rest of your life. Reach into your sock drawer and mix them up. Without looking, pull out two socks. Wear whatever mismatched pair you get. Take a few playful perspective photos to inject a bit of lightness into your important day.
  3. Tube Sock Theater: Create a sock puppet using whatever craft supplies you have on hand. Give your puppet a backstory. What really motivates a sock? Perhaps even stage a matinee, transforming them into characters that can convey emotions, stories, and ideas.
  4. Sock Hop: Dancing in socks might seem like risky business, but slipping and skipping around your home to your favorite Spotify Sunday playlist can be a kinetic way to wind down from the week.

As we play with the textures and possibilities of socks this week, let's reconnect to the joy found in the small, everyday things. Remember, in the world of creative exploration, even a sock can be a muse. Creativity doesn’t need to be complicated or grandiose. It can be as simple as choosing which socks to wear and seeing where those choices take us.

I invite you to share your sock-clad adventures, thoughts, and creations in the comments below. Your stories and ideas not only enrich this community but also inspire others to find creativity in their daily lives. Together, let's continue to pull creativity out of the most ordinary of places and discover the unexpected joys and lessons they hold. Here’s to another week of playful inspiration and tactile exploration.

This column written with the help of a customized GPT from OpenAI. If I can make one, so can you!