Opinion

The perfect pairing | Ann Oxrieder

Anyone who walks for health needs a sidekick striding beside them, the kind of person who can keep them so engaged in conversation that the miles mount up almost unnoticed.

My walking pal is Ronna Weltman, school and community volunteer, jewelry artist and teacher.  We recently re-connected, a year after one of us made a casual comment suggesting we get together on the walking trail.  (Obviously we didn’t want to commit to anything so reckless without putting months of thought into it.)

Since we both keep busy schedules, we chose the Downtown Park as our course for convenience and a flat terrain.  Covering four miles on foot is insignificant compared to the number of conversation topics covered.

Thanks to Ronna’s desire to find a guinea pig for a creativity experiment, I am now writing three pages in a journal every weekday.  The idea came from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  The author says this exercise helps the artist rid herself of any personal blocks standing between her and her art.

Ronna’s theory is that “moving one’s hand across the page for a sustained period clears the way to sparking creativity.” It’s too soon to tell if the experiment works for this guinea pig, but I’m having fun.

On our walks I’ve begun to describe a character I’m developing for a novel.  Ronna immediately found the character compelling and now offers ideas for compatible secondary characters. (I’m thinking about the incompatible ones.)

Am I the only one benefiting from exercising my mouth along with my legs?  No.  We both have an eclectic set of interests and Ronna is as delighted to share her latest ideas, plans for upcoming jewelry workshops, and theories about life as I am in hearing them.  We make the perfect pairing. Just think of us as Chardonnay and chicken.

Ann Oxrieder has lived in Bellevue for 35 years.  She retired after 25 years as an administrator in the Bellevue School District and now blogs about retirement at http://stillalife.wordpress.com/.

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