Saturday, December 6, 2014

Inspiration's Sources


When I’m asked, as a writer, where my inspiration comes from, I give a response, but in reality, I don’t know the answer. Often I’ll wake up with something on my mind that I want to say. This makes me think I come to ideas while I’m asleep. My late mentor and friend Eloise Fink once said that unproductive writing time is when we’re gathering perceptions that will become stories and poems. This gives me comfort during the dry season when nothing seems to come together.

I can’t say with any certitude that a walk in the woods inspires me to write. However, I can say it inspires me with a confidence that we are in a world of beauty and mystery that mustn’t be ignored. And I have a duty to try to see that this is appreciated and that our world is not diminished nor, heaven forbid, destroyed.

While nature pours fourth beauty, it withholds many truths. The rock in a stream has a simplicity and grandiosity that we don’t really understand.

Can we comprehend the nobility of trees? As one poet has said we think they don’t speak. The ocean is graceful and mysterious. Can we understand its utterances? The sky’s beauty is changeable and elusive. Will we ever know its secrets?

I sometimes think I’m experiencing nature on the Discovery channel, but a walk down a mountain trail convinces me that that’s like looking at a shirt rather than wearing one. I was with my family in the Georgia mountains for Thanksgiving. The stark trees and carpet of leaves revived my appreciation for the beauty of the woodlands. I wanted to say something. I’ve tried to say it. But this is just words. You could do better with a walk in the woods.

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