Location, location, location. Sometimes location really does matter when it comes to inspiration. For the past several years I have ridden the bus a lot. I find that riding the bus opens up my mind to new ideas. Maybe it’s the vibration as the bus moves down the street, lulling me into a kind of trance state, where my mind can just simply be, emptied of all thought. Maybe it’s the diesel fumes, I can’t be sure. All I know is that I find my mind tossing out the day’s trivia, and then ideas begin to percolate, bubbling up to the surface of my consciousness.
Sometimes when I ride the bus it is after I’ve been cooped up in my apartment for several days. Getting out, looking through the big bus windows at the world going by, listening to loud conversations inside the bus, re-connects me to my place on the planet. Writing sometimes leaves me out in the ether somewhere, and that is when I need a good bus ride, to bring me back down to earth.
The other thing I do on the bus is to notice the people who ride it. I wonder about them, asking myself questions about them, making up stories about their lives. It’s a fun exercise and it stretches the imagination muscle. Not a bad return on investment, for a $1.25 ticket.