Photo by: Megan Budweg
Writer’s block: “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.”
Here’s the truth. I love Madrid, I love Spain, and I love traveling. So much so, that the pressure to record it all down with words or in a photo is difficult to do. How do I express to you everything I’m experiencing in a way that will be simple to understand? Well, it’s not simple. There’s a pressure here and so often with social media to document everything we’re doing, from what we’ve had for breakfast, to our next vacation, to our wedding day…
What can I say that hasn’t been said before? What can I share that hasn’t been shared before?
Let’s start with why I write, I write because it’s my favorite creative outlet. I have countless journals with my thoughts and stories all written down. Journaling has been my outlet since I was ten years old when my grandma Heidi bought me my first journal for my 10th birthday.
So what do you do when your favorite creative outlet has shut you out?
Find another outlet I suppose…
Okay, cool. So what’s another outlet?
For me, I hesitantly decided… exercise?
So I went for my first jog in Madrid. My thoughts have been tangled for some time now and trying to write any of them down started to feel more like work and stress rather than relaxing and therapeutic. I decided I want to experience the city of Madrid in a different way, through sweat dripping down my face and the pulse of my heart in hopes of heightening my senses.
I come from a very small woodsy Michigan area where outdoor exercise was once a revitalizing and stimulating resource in my life. Here in Madrid the green is scarce, not unlike most cities but I was more accustomed to breathing in the fresh pine scented air, especially throughout Michigan’s ever changing seasons.
The streets of Madrid are always full with a lot of cars, streetlights, crosswalks, and narrow sidewalks. Listening to music helped drown out the city noise but the waves of people slowed me down. Weaving in and out of blurred faces and cigarette smoke made me nauseous. Nonetheless, I was ready to accept this as my running reality when not a mile in I hit Retiro Park. Gated in by a historically beautiful black iron fence and just like that, the city changed:
leafy cool chill
Fall launching from
tree branch and stem
filling lungs full chest
Maybe it was the nostalgic outdated playlist on my phone or maybe it was Retiro Park itself. Maybe it was the timing of the evening but this small cage of green was filled with a community. People running, walking, training, stretching, playing with their dogs, each with a purpose unknown to me. It felt like one large and strange support group. As I jogged around the park I could see the rest of the city passing by through the fence. It was like watching a trailer to the movie of your life, a place you’re temporarily separated from but will join again shortly. I moved along the trail in the park with the restless runners, the restless like me and just like that, I could write again.
Retiro Park via Google