During the years I lived in East Asia I gained a strong appreciation for some of the customs. These were the things I saw in everyday life that had immediate effects, even if they were only small ones. One of my favorites is taking your shoes off when entering a home. Let me set the scene: It’s a hot summer day in Taiwan. You’re dripping sweat as you arrive at a friend’s house.
One of the joys of the pandemic has been the return of baseball. (Congrats to the Dodgers on their World Series win. We’ll get ‘em next year KC!) I’ve started to think a lot about my local team and some of the fun quirks of the game. All sports have superstitions and illogical practices, but baseball is bathed in them. Rally caps anyone? One of my favorite young pitchers would always jump over the chalk lines on his way back to the dugout when an inning ended.
I have a notebook I write all of my first drafts in. When it comes out words seem to flow better. I have a lamp on my desk that I turn on when it’s time for writing or serious reading. When the lamp turns on I feel like my brain snaps to attention. There’s no magic in the notebook or the lamp. The magic is in the ritual they are a part of.