Inspiration. Do you wait for it? Do you court it? Do you flirt with it a little? Does it come in flashes or in trickles or in spurts? Does it never come? Are you inspired to begin something here? Do you love the word? Hate it? Can you write without it? Is it a small one-eyed creature who lives on your shoulder and whispers in your ear at strange times? Or has inspiration struck just reading the word and you now have something delicious to write for our reading pleasure?
I am inspired by water. Give me a rainy day, a steaming shower, a tub of bubbles, and I will give you back a poem, a multi-page letter, a short story, or a poignant essay. I may be a fire sign, but I’m a fire-sign who embraces the salt water in her blood, and revels in the feel of the sand between her toes. The first sound I remember is the foghorn at Sandy Hook, the first taste that of the sea-spray on my childish lips, and the scent I’m most drawn to is the sweaty ozone-tinged odor of post-beach sun-bronzed skin.
I am inspired by air. The same soft breeze that lifts my bangs or cools the back of my neck also breathes life into characters and stories. The sound of prairie wind is mournful, and speaks to me of loss and fear. The chattering of birds brings forth happy burbling phrases. The tortured twisting of trees introduces darker themes: vampires, moonlight, mystery, intrigue.
I am inspired by fire. A flickering candle leads to thoughts of those departed, and heartfelt words of memory and love. A glittering star gives me hope. A dancing flame burns red and orange: passion, vibrancy, humor, exhilaration. An hour in the sun makes my mind burn with new ideas.
I am inspired by earth. The scent of soil is the scent of life, and offers nourishment for creativity. Flowers and trees are the characters and settings, manmade features are the structure of worlds built only in my head. Roads become paths to imaginary places as well as real ones, and journeys are more than metaphors and less than just trips.
I am inspired by music – I think in songs – and laughter. I groove on the energy in others, and try to give back, though often the gifts are lost in translation. I find inspiration in the mundane – doing dishes is cheap psychotherapy, and washing away crumbs often washes away writer’s block as well. I find inspiration in nature: the shark is elegant, the dog is loyal, the bee persistent, the butterfly magical.
I find inspiration in your words, your thoughts. A blog entry from a person half a world away will first spark a “Me too,” which will then ignite into a whole post, an essay, a story…a dream.
Inspiration is breathing.
And I am inspired.