Think Outside the Box!


I love boxes. Why do people love boxes? Have you seen the Container Store? A temple to the box if there ever was one.

When I was in elementary school, my grandmother lived near a strip mall. In the mall was a hardware store, but it wasn’t like the hardware stores of today. It was small and it sold gifts as well as typical hardware store fare. Immediately to your right was a wall of glass cases. In those glass cases were fully furnished and decorated doll houses. Have you seen such miniatures? Tiny dishes on tiny tables surrounded by tiny walls and with tiny chandeliers overhead. They were magical. And this shop had shelves of these scenes.

Sometimes being inside the box is fine, especially if it is a well-made box. Most of us live in boxes. Many of us are buried in boxes.


If I could, I’d learn how to make boxes. Well, I could. The only thing stopping me is money to buy the tools and supplies. In the meantime, I have wine boxes that I’ve worked with. Decorated seems like the wrong word, but in any event, I’m still putting art into boxes…when I’m not writing.

Maybes a book is a box with a story inside.

Maybe we shouldn’t say think outside the box as much as we should say be the box maker. Or is that too Orwellian? Or too Amish?

How many box metaphors can we come up with?

Smash the box? I don’t know. It’s nice to have a box to retreat to sometimes.
Keep the box unlocked? But that suggests you can’t control who comes into the box. Which leads me to…
Don’t go into other people’s boxes uninvited.
Smash your own box if you must. Leave other boxes alone.
Beware being in a glass box!
Is the box light enough to carry around or too heavy for anyone to lift?
How big is the box?
Do bosses really want you to think outside the box or do they really want you to think outside your box and inside theirs?
Quite possibly we’re in nesting boxes. We think outside of one, only to be inside another.

The important thing may be to never be forced into the wrong box. Find your box. Decorate your box as you wish. Own your box.


One thought on “Think Outside the Box!

  1. I love a good box, in which inclination I am joined by cats everywhere. I don’t want a boxless existence, myself– give me a box i can alter, give me a box with three sides, give me a box with a hole in it or an extra flap, and that will spark me.

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