Because I’ve lived in so many different places, I don’t have one specific place to go to when I need to recharge my batteries.
Instead I have a routine or a ritual which usually makes me feel a bit better. This involves an early morning experience – a walk, cycle, run, or just a prolonged gaze out of a train window after an overnight journey. These moments are invariably alone, but sometimes with close family members and nearly always with either my camera or sketchbook.
My main aim is to have a few moments of quiet, to hopefully listen to the birds and watch the sun come up and to realise that life is about more that whatever stresses I have been contemplating during a night of restless sleep.
These are some of the places where I had early morning reveries.
The Reveries of a Solitary Walker is by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth century, whose political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment in France and across Europe. The book contains ten meditative “walks”. This short paragraph comes from his Seventh Walk
“Reverie relaxes and amuses me; reflection tires and saddens me; thinking always was a painful and charmless occupation for me. Sometimes my reveries end in meditation, but more often my meditations end in reverie; and during these wanderings, my soul rambles and glides through the universe on the wings of imagination, in ecstasies which surpass every other enjoyment.”
From The Reveries of a Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
This piece of music by Debussy is called reverie and seems to capture the dreamlike feeling of being alone.