Take A Grand Tour Of Your Hometown


Do not sink into the everydayness of your life. Fight despair. Find treasure. - Billy Sothern

I recently stumbled upon the brilliant art of Cooper and Gorfer, and then upon research found out that I had just missed their exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard. I can't begin to tell you how frequently this happens to me. The thing is so often we don't see something unless we are actually looking for it.

I have come to realize that my favorite writers are those who work is textured and layered with richness. You know the ones who reference other unheard of yet brilliant people, little-known places, and things in such an effortless way that you feel you need to do research? Because if these people, places and things are woven so seamlessly into your hero's life then maybe you should know a little more about them as well?

An individual's ability to see the world around them from a unique perspective gives them something to articulate beauty in a way that allows others around them to have their eyes opened to previously unseen or unexplored treasure.  Below are five ideas of how you can shake up the mundane of your every day and perhaps just maybe rediscover your childlike wonder.

Taking a new route has the ability to shake a lot up. It makes me think of those sci-fi movies where someone changes just one thing in the future and it has countless ripple effects. I feel like exploring a new route has the potential to do just the same thing. Once when I was following my path down a favorite alley which is a bit grimy, and a lady once yelled at a guy who was peeing as we were walking by... anyways, on this particulate walk two well-dressed joggers came running out of nowhere, I was slightly confused but when I turned the corner I saw there was a photographer. That guy had found my secret alley and now it became his perfect spot for a photo shoot. You never know where inspiration will strike.

I learned how to speak to strangers from a young age. While most kids are told to not talk to strangers well my father seemed to teach us girls that the opposite was true. Every new person led to an interesting story. As a young girl, I was rather embarrassed by how it never failed that if we were with my Dad some random person was going to begin speaking to him. My Dad was always gracious even if the person was a bit grimy looking on the outside. Because of these relationships my family built with "strangers" I learned how to blow bubble gum from a felon, I did arts and crafts with mental patients, and even once to my Mom's ever lasting embarrassment went dumpster diving for "the best cookies" in town.

Now there is definitely a time and a place for comfort food, trust me perhaps its just the southern side but I believe it's very important to know what a person's comfort food is. But if you are needing to stir your creative juices then, well a new food can be an explosion of feelings. I have had pho my fair share of times, I mean I live on the edge of the international district in Seattle... but I had never had pho like the way my friend  Yenvy fixed mine up the first time I visited Phnom Penh Noodle House. You see on each table is this house made special sauce. Just go there and try it. Or if you are not in Seattle, ask the waiter what his or her favorite dish on the menu is. Ordering outside of your comfort zone does not mean it has to be snails, though I have tasted those and they were garlicky deliciousness in my mouth!

Last but not least, magnify a detail. This is something that comedians seem to do amazingly well. I mean have you listened to Anjelah Johnson's Nail Salon or Ellen Degeneres Toilet Paper? Just like we have the ability to worry and stress about things, we can also see the magic in the minute detail of a dark gray feather on the sidewalk, that new piece of graffiti on a wall or look up, have you ever noticed those lights before?

So the next time you feel that perhaps your town does not have so much to offer, that you are dying to take a flight out to some glamorous city ... well just take one more look time spent so often causes there to be a familiarity that closes our eyes to the magic that lies just before us.