Thursday, January 20, 2011

From Where Inspiration?

Inspiration is a curious thing. Sometimes when needed or desired or earnestly sought after, it runs and hides from our light. We sit down with an empty pad of paper and tightly grip that freshly sharpened pencil just above that empty canvas. We call upon you to provide us with an idea to think about or a new way to look at something old. Nothing comes. The well seems dry. Sometimes it is hard to believe that it could ever have provided that refreshing water. The silence at these times can be deafening. Dried out tumbleweeds blow across the landscape of our minds when there used to be an expanse of green fields. We beckon for a seed or a whisper. The more we push and exert and search, the more bleak our surroundings. The empty chasm that faces us is likely due to a mental or physical fatigue or the malaise induced by a worn-down spirit. What is also bewildering is that sometimes we can be faced with so many possibilities that we are overwhelmed and can find nothing to latch hold of firmly. Sort of like trying to pull a quiet lilt out from the overwhelming din of everyday existence, a single kernel of wheat from a truck-load of chaff.

Oh but behold when inspiration does flow. A dry trough suddenly sees a trickle and then we are deluged by your presence. One wonderful thought after another enters our mind. The pages of the pad can now hardly contain everything that makes itself known to us. I once read an interview of the lead singer of a band that was riding the crest of a very popular song. The music and the lyrics were praised for their depth and nuance. The singer remarked that although he wrote the lyrics and came up with the melody, he felt reluctant to give himself too much credit. He believed that this treasure was somehow already out there floating in the aether, just waiting for someone to see it and take hold of it.

From where comes inspiration? I don't know, but often I am most fertile and most receptive when I just relax and let it come to me.