Try explaining that idiom to a non-English speaker. It came up this week in the ESL classes. The textbook gives the definition, something to think about. But my student still couldn’t get it. I tried to explain it in terms of mental nourishment, but then he thought I mean ‘brain food,’ stuff like fish and fresh vegetables. No, it’s an abstract concept, I tried to elaborate: A topic, an idea, a subject, something that makes you think, hard, as if your brain is devouring it in an eager way. Which would mean, I suppose (but did not say aloud) that thoughts and ideas formed by the digestion of such “food” is essentially…well, brain excrement (!)
That explains a lot! Sometimes the most intense thinking and ruminating in the world doesn’t produce an exceptional result or idea. I know this, because I pretty much regard everything as ‘food for thought.” I am a notorious over-thinker, and it’s not necessarily a good way to be. But I’ve learned over the years that it comes from being too sedentary, rooted to desk or sofa, so the best remedy is simply to move. I’m not a runner, so I walk, hike, take off. It doesn’t stop the thinking, but it seems to produce a better result, more helpful solutions to worrying problems and dilemmas. Something about moving your legs unlatches something good in the brain, and the thinking that results is almost always good. Travel is a kind of sacrament for me: As long as it involves a lot of walking.
And I’ve been doing a lot of walking this past week, taking advantage of the uncharacteristically warm and sunny weather we’ve been having in late February. My favorite walking trail is at Jockey Hollow National Historic Park, which is a short drive from my house. I’m getting to know the park, where Washington wintered his troops during the Revolutionary War, quite intimately, and even spent part of his birthday there. It has everything a timid hiker like me could want, the choice of paved roads or trails through the woods, a little water feature, beautiful scenery and interesting history, and a number of hills if I want to challenge myself. I always walk by the Wick farm, to see how their garden is doing, but I’ve never had the nerve to snitch an apple when the orchard is producing. I would live in the little red Wick house, if they let me! But it’s too popular on weekends. Better to go on weekdays, when it’s quiet and lovely, and it feels like you have the entire place to yourself.
On March 1st is a guest post by Lori Virelli, a fellow writer; we met online as Kindle ‘scout’ nominees, when we realized our books had a similar subject (marriage and morality) and demographic. Please do check back to read her post, and check out her work at Amazon, (hopefully I will set the link up correctly!) because if you enjoyed Wives, you will no doubt enjoy her books as well.