Kate Flora here, hoping you won’t tell anyone that I’m sitting at my desk. You see, because we have such an awful habit of always being at our desks, this week, my husband Ken and I declared ourselves to be on “Staycation.” This means that instead of drifting back to the keyboard to work, reading blogs, catch up on news, visit Facebook, or work (I have to mention work twice because work is what we’re generally doing) we are spending time together, and working at having fun.
Okay, I can hear your sniggering. The chorus of cynical voices asking, “Seriously? You have to work at having fun?” But the answer is yes, we do. We have to remind ourselves, from time to time, that life is not a dress rehearsal and we can’t make up for lost time if we let too much of it slip away. We have to remember, in the words of our good friend Bea, that “fun is more fun.” We both love our work, but there’s some truth to the saying: All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy. It makes Jill a dull Girl, too.
Sometimes the relationship needs to be nurtured; sometimes the well of creativity needs to be refilled. And it is a whole lot more affordable and easy to plan if the vacation doesn’t involve airplanes, weather, hotel reservations, rental cars, taxis, or packing.
Sunday afternoon we went to a chamber music concert. Last night we watched the pilot for Twin Peaks. Deliciously spooky. Then, making it a double feature, we watched Charlie Chaplin’s last movie, starring Marlo Brando and Sophia Loren, The Countess from Hong Kong, which was delightfully silly and fun. We ate salted nuts and chocolates. No one did a lick of work. Or mentioned calories or a healthy diet.
Today, we dragged ourselves away from keyboards and went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. And the first thing we saw as we entered from the Fenway, was a wonderful exhibit of World War I posters. So great to be transported back to a time when the posters urged togetherness and shared sacrifice instead of selfishness and tuning out.
Also so great to see how much creativity and thought went into the design. How the designs are echoed in subsequent posters through the years. Doesn’t the one below conjure up images of Slim Pickens from Dr. Strangelove?
And how posters from England, France, Russia, and Germany are different from each other and very different from American posters.
Seeing an exhibit like this inspires curiosity and creating thinking in so many ways. It made me want to write books inspired by the posters. It made me feel proud to be American seeing the ways that people were pulled together. It made me want to redesign some of my book covers, or to think about the stories my future covers will tell in new ways.
We ran into friends at the museum and joined them for lunch. Another perk of the staycation? Without spending all that money on travel, we can indulge ourselves in dining out.
Staycation? So far, it’s working. Have you ever taken one? Where did you go?
Wonderful posters. Thanks 🙂
Thank you for the MFA poster tour and insights into what and how they communicated. An all around multi-meaning inspiring post!
Sounds wonderful! And – guess what? Bob and I are heading for the MFA as soon as soon as the ice and sleet get a little manageable this morning . Wonderful! (We’re looking forward or the Goya and Jamie Wyeth exhibits, too.)
This was great, Kate. Thank you. Great reminder I think many of us needed about now when Nov. & early Dec seem uninspired. Best? Last summer. Up at Moosehead camp. Five days dedicated to fishing and exploring new places. Remote AMC ponds. Pools after dark with full moon and headlamps (after “day” folks have left). Kayaking up a lake to where a stream comes in; no roads (no fish either, but loons, eagles, otters, moose: the works!). And it only cost flies at the Maine Guide Fly Shop.
Sounds like lots of fun to me. Good for you guys!
Congrats on pulling this off, Kate. And thanks for sharing those great posters. I’m hard pressed to stay away from the keyboard. I hate to let so many emails and FB posts and tweets pile up. The emails make me nuts. So even when we come to your lovely neck of the woods, I bring the laptop and try to hit delete as often as possible. 🙂 But you’ve inspired me to try. Maybe early next year, we’ll take a weekend. Go to the museum or take in a movie. 🙂
Interesting. I’ve just been reading some Jacqueline Winspear novels set after WWI and in one there are some interesting links to the posters that were done during the war. Her novels are fascinating for anyone who likes history and wants to know more about this period.