Finding a Clearing

Lately. It's been so difficult to clear my head. To make way for new ideas. To find a clearing. And there are so many reasons for this. I've started teaching at a language institute again, which means my mind has to prepare itself for new classes, new people, new situations every single day. There doesn't seem to be any room for anything else, and yet there are so many other things I have to be thinking about.

My mind empties of all these "problems" best when I'm hiking. Walking up a mountain just seems to settle my random, nervous thoughts so that they all sit neatly in rows and do what they're supposed to do. They stop pulling me in different directions. They stop babbling. They hush. I like that.

I wish I were hiking right now. Here are a few pictures from my hike two weeks ago--my first hike of 2014 near Tegernsee just 40 minutes from my house. I'm taking all my random thoughts there right now.

How do you find a clearing?

I must be off,

PS! I Must Be Off! is having its second annual travel essay contest. Deadline June 30, 2014. Read more HERE.


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, Camroc Press Review, Feathertale, The Best of Every Day Fiction, Pure Slush, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen.


  1. Tegernsee looks like a beautiful, mind-clearing place for a hike. I wish I were there now, walking between the trees. Nothing like a walk in nature to clear the mind and open the thought-flow.

    1. I couldn't agree more, Chris! Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Beautiful photos, Chris. They remind me of the forest behind our apartment in Brussels. Oh to get some real quiet wood-walking....

    1. Hi, Paola! Thank you! Yes, walking in the woods calms me like nothing else.


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