Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inspiration, Fickle Friend

Inspiration can be found everywhere or nowhere,
capricious soul that she is.
Have you ever been driving down the road, letting your mind wander, and suddenly are struck by the lightning bolt of inspiration? Maybe you have constructed the perfect song lyrics, or stumbled upon and idea for the next Great American Novel, or you have simply solved the unsolvable equation. It couldn't come at a more inconvenient time, right? You have no pen or paper handy, and you certainly won't be texting yourself the idea while you drive, because the giant, looming billboard you just passed has warned you not to on pain of death or incarceration. Or maybe you aren't driving, you are at home playing with the kids and you see out of the corner of your eye a piece of cardboard that would be perfect for your current art/craft project, and you feel the urge to immediately run into the studio, lock the doors and work to your heart's content, abandoning thought of all else. But you can't do that, you have other responsibilities. So, like an adult, you do what you have to do first, counting down until the moment when you will have the opportunity to wield the tools of your craft once more. You finish your errands and finally arrive home, or you put the kids to bed at the end of the day, and you breathe a huge sigh of relief, rub your hands together in anticipation, and sit down to work. And just as suddenly, inspiration has left the building. You cannot remember that perfect turn of phrase that you so brilliantly crafted just hours ago. You don't remember where that scrap of cardboard is hiding, or what exactly you had planned to do with it. You wilt as you decry the injustice of an opportunity wasted. O, Inspiration, you fickle friend! Why hast thou deserted me in mine hour of need? And in your despair, you discover something: the fleeting moment of agony you experienced when you realized that your original idea had flown with the wind has inspired you once more, only this time your idea is charged with emotion and angst, and then utter joy as you once again ply your craft, working blissfully uninterrupted until you are spent. Inspiration, once more, has graced you with her glowing presence.

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