Saturday, April 6, 2013

Challenge : F is for Float

F is for Float.

It could be a root beer float. Yum! I haven't had one of those in a long time; years. Right now I'm tasting that creamy texture of the vanilla ice cream - make it a really good one, natural, old fashioned, plain vanilla - covered with a real home-brewed type root beer poured over the top. So that the ball of vanilla is covered with a crunchy root beer ice coating, which crunches as you sip and chew. Smooth.

But I'm not writing about that today.

Or it could be a parade Float. Living in the City of Roses, that would be natural. We have the annual Rose Festival and the accompanying parade, which includes the Rose Princesses and the Rose Queen. And the Royal Rosarians. I haven't kept up with the newest technology in Float building, but it used to be that they used actual flower petals - many of them roses, of course - which where applied to the body of the Float to make the creatures and vehicles and the structures upon which the people and animals and various attachments sat as they flowed through the streets of downtown Portland, Oregon, blocking traffic for hours and making it difficult to get from here to there or anywhere.

But I'm not writing about that today, either.

What I am writing about is to take a Float. As in, Float in a saltwater tank for a period of time, with the door closed, the lights all off and access to light blocked, and no sounds. To Float in darkness for ninety minutes. Let the salt heavy water support your body in its natural position, in the dark and the silence and just be present. To slip into a state where ninety minutes feels like thirty and eventually your mind does quiet and you are ... just ... there. Floating. Supported. Relaxed to the state where creativity lives and flows and you now have access.

The first Float I did was about a month ago. I'd heard about them and they sounded wonderful. And kind of scary. I couldn't really imagine me doing anything like being still for ninety minutes. And the first appointment I scheduled was actually two and a half hours, because of the time slot, which was because of my busy and pretty full schedule. But I thought I'd give it a try.

There was the option of getting out at any time, they said.

But I didn't. I stayed in the entire two and a half hours. And had no idea it had been that long.

Two nights ago I went for my second Float. It was only a ninety minute appointment. And - yes - it really did feel like about thirty minutes.

So when someone asked me yesterday if my "E" word story was about an elephant eating a berry which turned out to be a drug, and I responded that I didn't think so, but maybe. And then I said that I didn't know where the story came from and, no, I wasn't on any mind altering substance, either, when I wrote it. I wasn't.  But it was post-Float. And Floating is said to aid in creativity. The place where I'm going did a project where musicians Floated and then created music; they have a CD of their collected compositions. They also did a Float project with artists. Right now they have a Float project going on with chefs - I can't wait to see how that one turns out.

I'm thinking of talking to them about my idea for a writers and Float project. Really. It's that good.

So. F is for Floating in ten inches of water which has 800-900 pounds of Epsom salts, in the dark and the silence. Ahhhhhh.