Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kicking the Box: Who Put the Darned Thing There Anyway?

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘think outside the box.’ A psychological kick to the lazy or fearful creative mind, it invites you to step outside and ‘wonder’ your way across new territory. Worry is a box everyone knows about.

By now, I’ve heard the expression so many times it no longer carries the fizz it once had and I'm wondering who created the darned box anyway?

I remember the first time I realized there were no perfect right angles in nature, unlike the box that needs those angles to stand strong. That made me wonder about the way houses are built; a series of boxes with right angles. And if the boxes in my life sometimes had me stymied what exactly happened when my imagination rolled up against a right angle at home? Is that why I sometimes feel as if corners contain the dregs of emotions?

I know it’s possible to be live inside a small box and travel to distant galaxies, especially if you’ve learned how to practice deep meditation, or if you're listening to a particularly inspiring piece of music. Or maybe chocolate moves you outside the box where you've been squatting.

What about love, I wonder.

Suddenly, I recall a short story from a South American author.* Two rebels who were lovers were imprisoned in a small cell. The man knew his jailers would be executing him the next morning. With the stub of a small pencil he’d been given to write a last letter, he drew instead on his lady love’s palm. Pointing to the design of a small raft, he told her, that’s my love for you. When you’re ready, step aboard and it will carry you to freedom.

The possibilities for ways to get outside the box are endless. I like the idea of imagining there is no box, no right angles to stop me.

That said, I’m going outside for a walk and leave this box behind.

* The short story was in an amazing anthology of South American writers and it's called 'The Eye of the Heart.'

1 comment:

  1. Here I am writing inside the comment box...I love the story about the two rebel lovers. Thanks, Sam. Lots to think about in this one...