When you’re faced with writer’s block, your energy levels have declined, and you find yourself making excuses for doing anything, the best cure-all, at least for myself, is to get out on a bike and explore someplace new. Take a new road, head in a different direction, get lost and find your way back. Soon you will be filled to the brim with new thoughts and ideas. The scientific reason for this is that your brain has to process all of this unfamiliar information, so it piles it up all at once, causing the stack of papers that your mental faculties consist of to topple over in an avalanche of cognitive activity.*
So, with this in mind, I set out to the hardware store to find some nuts that Ikea had decided we did not need for our new chair, but I took a roundabout way of getting there. Normally, I stick to paved roads, but I found the Dahon more than capable of tackling the dirt and gravel roads that abound in this region, so I took a few of those.
This lead me to an area that I had noticed before, but never took the time to explore. You see, there are several windmills in this region-- not just the new, gigantic wind turbines, but the original windmills, made out of bricks and wood. One of them in particular was interesting, because it had lost its vanes at some point, which is sort of what makes a windmill a windmill. There it stood amidst all of these new, efficient wind turbines like a bird without wings.
I was thinking a lot about this former windmill as I pedaled towards it. Was it enjoying retirement? Was it jealous of the dozens of newer, bigger wind turbines that had been erected around it? Why am I personifying a piece of architecture? Eventually, I got up to it and realized that it was being renovated into someone’s home. Satisfied with that, and heeding the “private property” sign I guess I had missed, I continued on to the hardware store.
Along the way, a sleepy kitty emerged from the cornstalks to investigate my presence.
At the local hardware store, the nuts cost a total of .50 Euro, well worth avoiding the hassle of returning to the colossal blue and yellow furniture store. On my way home, I decided to take yet another route, though this one was a sanctioned bicycle path and paved. I got the chair assembled, but more importantly, I got back to feeling normal again… like a bird that got its wings back.
- Bicyclist Abroad
*This is probably not accurate, nor based on any scientific study.