The “father of air conditioning,” Willis Haviland Carrier, claims he had a flash of genius while waiting for a train. He began thinking about temperature and humidity, and within moments he had a scientific method to chill the air.
Back then, you couldn’t distract yourself from thinking so easily.
I remember Carrier all day as I walk around in the kind of blazing heat that makes it hard to breathe. I thank God for what I take for granted: air conditioning, ice, refrigeration, cold water from a fountain. Some one began thinking and something wonderful happened:
I tell my students that invention is the hardest stage of writing. They simply can’t come up with an idea. They can’t begin creative acts–making something from nothing–because they don’t know how to begin thinking.
Well. Let’s just sit for a bit, as if we were waiting for a train on a foggy night with absolutely nothing to distract us. Let’s just sit here and think.
It all began while a man waited for a train, thinking.
Journal: Do I schedule thinking time into my day?