Our writing word for our writing challenge this time is "thinking." Well, I have just spent several hours online trying to find a collection of books by Edward de Bono. He is the authority on thinking, especially creative thinking. I once had a good selection of his 70 odd books, but only two have survived - "Opportunities" and "Practical Thinking." I particularly wanted "Lateral Thinking."
I went to Abebooks and found a book store in Victoria BC that had a copy for $5.00US and an estimated shipping cost to the US of $3.00. I sent them a message about the cost for shipping within Canada. In fact, I went on their website and placed an order. Well, the shipping was an extra $13.00. How did that happened?
Thrift books was OK and I may have to order several from there to make the shipping worthwhile. I'll think about that.
Years ago, I went to a day-long talk presented by Edward de Bono. It was in one of the smaller theatres at the University of Toronto. He is really a fascinating person who could talk for five hours or more on the fine Art of Thinking. He obviously possessed a gene for the fine Art of Talking, as well.
I often quote one of his examples of problem solving. It involves a change in the way one looks at a problem. Mohammed, for example tried to move mountains. He commanded the mountains to come to him. Nothing happened. After several attempts, he said, "Well, if the mountains won't come to Mohammed; Mohammed will go to the mountains." - Eureka, problem solved.
Another ploy to change a mindset, that is suggested in Lateral Thinking, is to use a dictionary and some random numbers. The first set of numbers gives you the dictionary page and the second set the count down of the words on that page. The purpose being to find a random word and use that word in your problem solving.
Let's try it. My problem could be, how to beat the Winter blahs. Here goes....
First, I took some random numbers from the front page of the Sunday Star. The date added together was 227 and a reference to an article in the paper was 17. So page 227 in my dictionary was in the C's and counting down 17 words, fortunately there were two columns on the page, gave me the word "caruncle." A caruncle is "a fleshy excrescence e.g. a turkeycock's wattles or the red prominence at the inner angle of the eye." I could also cheat and separate the word out to "car" and "uncle." Let's try the original word.
Wattles are unusual and distinctive. The inner angle of the eye is insightful. The eyes are windows of the mind. To look deeply into someone's eyes is possibly to enter their mind and maybe even their soul. If I were to take this as a jumping off point to eleviate boredom I could:
1. Make a list of a good number of excrescences found in nature and find out more about them. I could photograph them and/or write about them. I could look into people's eyes more and write about the experience.
2. I could draw eyes. I could think about tear ducts, behind the excrescences and the reasons why we cry. I could endeavour to be more empathetic towards people.
3. I could look for the unusual around me. Not everything has a wattle, but a lot of things have seemingly extraneous aspects. However, these aspects might not be useless. I could find out their use.
My list is limited, I know.
This exercise is often done as a group brainstorming technique. More minds - more ideas.
Here is what I found on line:
Warts and pimples are common excrescences that can usually be wiped out with medication; other excrescences such as cysts and tumors need to be removed surgically. Mushrooms are the excrescences of underground fungus networks. Some people consider slang words to be vulgar excrescences of the English language, but others consider slang the most colourful vocabulary of all.
OK, a whole new area of exploration - mushrooms and slang!! One site also mentioned hair as an excrescence.
I may not follow up on any of these, but I have just spent the morning writing about a word that's new to me and found some interesting areas to explore - inner sunshine! It's another grey day outside.
The pictures? #1 I have seen the light. It's one of my favourites. It was taken in Paris about ten years ago. I love how it crystallizes a moment in time!! and #2 is some graffiti on a rock in Algonquin Park, perhaps some unnatural excrescences in nature or the equivalent of graphic slang!!
Have thoughtful day!!
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