Tag Archives: Inspiration

Growing a Story

By FASTILY (TALK) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6850324

Growing a Story

Some kernel of truth was planted in the fecund imagination
And as the new shoot broke from the warm moist ground
Spreading its initial leaves to breath in the air in a new world
As an alien sun showers the cotyledons of the seed with radiation
And the roots begin to drive into the soil feeding on the detritus
So many things can happen to this new seedling over its maturation
The environment it emerges into may be too toxic for it to endure
Animals and insects may eagerly devour its first green leaves
Or weeds may grow up around it choking its access to the sun
Drought may deny it the nourishment it needs or flood may overwhelm
Subterranean pests or diseases may devour the roots it sinks
But sometimes, against all the odds, the roots delve deep
The plant spreads its tender branches towards the heavens
And the story slowly grows, struggling to reach maturity
Putting forth leaves, flower and fruit and delighting the eye
Yet no story grows unchanged by the world it enters
The knots and gnarls that give it character as it grows
Some branches have to be pruned carefully by its author
As it takes its place among the orchard that invites the hungry
To walk among the collected trees and to taste the fruit
Which provides the seeds for the next generation of stories

Cooperating with Creativity: A Reflection

Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas, 1899

“Creativity is the relationship between the human being and the mysteries of inspiration” Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear

There are times where creativity seems like a divine gift, something external and strange and magical that comes from some unknown space in the cosmos. Normally these are times where I let creativity take the lead, where I allow curiosity around a phrase or an idea to lead the way. During these times the providential provision of resources and words can be delightful if a little scary. There are times where my words both reflect me and something that is not like me at all, even when there is truth in the strangeness. I enjoy cooperating with creativity whatever spirit it may be, letting it flow through me and guide me, surprise and startle. Sometimes I can almost stand back and watch it dance and spin and leap and all I can do is simply try to record the joy or lament of the dance. As one who is not a dancer, I am at best an uninformed commenter on the art and yet sometimes the comments themselves capture some of the beauty whether dark or savage or light or joyous or somber.

There are times where creativity seems like some strange reserve of energy within me, like the old Polynesian idea of mana or the Chinese concept of qi. Feeling like some vital energy that is a part of me and that expending it in a forced manner leaches strength from the very marrow of my being. When it feels like a time-constraints force me to be creative in an urgent matter it almost feels like I am doing violence to creativity and to myself at the same time. It is like this thing which can be separate from me is somehow conjoined, that we feed off the same energy. Not like some unwelcome parasite that simply leeches its victim for its own purposes but some type of symbiotic relationship where the creativity, genius, daemon, muse or whatever name you give it cannot do its work without your participation in the dance with it. When it is forced to dance a dance it no longer wants to dance or is not ready for, then I, as its partner, am the one whose head pounds, whose muscles burn and whose soul aches.

Creativity can be elusive but she can be a delight. Sometimes she stays away for days on end, or perhaps it is me who has been away on some other journey, too distracted by the alluring entertainment on some screen or some pressing task at work or home. Sometimes she comes when the time is not right and by the time I can give her my full attention she is off dancing somewhere out of site. I’m not sure what creativity is or how it works, I’m just trying to learn how to cooperate with it. To be attentive to its call, to listen to the music it chooses, to observe the dance, to do my part as a recorder of these mysteries of inspiration. I try to work diligently but not to force or bend it to my will, that seems to do damage to both of us. Perhaps it is something deep within me, perhaps it is something else, perhaps it is in some strange way both. I may never know, and perhaps to know would steal away the magic and delight, like knowing some illusionist’s trick. So, for now I’ll let this dance end as the music fades and leave this reflection for others to see. Perhaps serendipity may allow this to be that providential provision that another curious observer needs as their creativity calls its tune.

To Catch an Albatross

Southern Royal Albatross in Flight, East of Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia, Picture by J.J. Harrison shared by Creative Commons 3.0

The albatross would dance in the air above
Riding the currents of the divine breath
Calling to us here aboard the ship
Urging us forward as we rode the wind
Charting our path before us as we sailed
Floating gracefully and effortlessly
As we struggled to trim the sails
to capture the atmospheric inspiration
Perhaps if I could befriend this avian guide
If I could somehow coax him to join me on deck
The spirit of the air descending on the son of man
I could befriend this emissary of the heavens
And this airborne ambassador might intercede
For these sailors and their captain upon the sea
Who struggle with wood and cloth and rope
To capture the atmospheric inspiration
I devised my plan to catch the great albatross
With fishes, I beckon him to circle lower each day
Slowly coaxing him down from the clouds above
Until the day when I might break bread with him
Sharing communion with him upon the deck
As we pass through the waters to the promised land
Fellow sailors, one of air and one of the sea
Passengers being borne by captured inspiration
My mind conceived the plan that never was executed
Thanks to the vision that visited me that night
For my heavy eyes became a screen where an angel showed
A future with the albatross captured by the heart of man
For they are spirits of air and we have hearts of dust
The winds would not give their blessing to my plan
Nor the seas consent to the spirit of air to be captured
By the creature of soil who longs for the air’s inspiration
For in my mind I wanted my friend to stay near me
And so, a snare was set to keep him from fleeing too far
Some measure of freedom I would allow my new pet
But spirits of air are not meant to be restrained in their flight
And heartbroken the bird soon began to look sickly
It refused to eat, it broke our communion in its fast
And soon in my dreams it lay motionless upon the deck
In captivity breathing out its final expiration
The skies and seas mourned the passing of this noble creature
This prince of the air which had graced us with its presence
And the ship came to a halt as we entered into the doldrums
No current and no wind to fill the sails and move us along our exodus
Water, salty water, everywhere, but not one drop to drink
As the sun beats upon these mariners growing ancient
Waiting for the days to pass upon the still and silent sea
Wishing for some inspiration from heaven to move us
In the nightmare, we dwelt for days unknown on those dead waters
Mere skeletons of the men we were prior to our journey’s genesis
Caught with our exodus slowly baking in this blue wilderness
With blackened lips and withered tongues the crew sought
The Jonah that had cursed their voyage and whose sacrifice
The seas thirsted for so that relief might come to those trapped
On this immobile wooden coffin which drifts aimlessly
Wanting some body to fill the uninspired wood and cloth
For I was the offending party, the one caught with the albatross
Now destined to be food for the fishes that circle this dead man
Instead of communing with the spirit of the air I am consumed
By the demons of the abyss that rise up to claim my body
Descending into the watery hell where I uttered my last cry
The albatross hung around my neck like a sinner’s crucifix
The spirit of the air and the man of soil offered to the sea
As my final cry expires into the watery tomb of the ocean
Water falls from the sky and the haunting cry of the albatross
Awakens the sleeper like Lazarus called forth from the tomb
And the salty air enters into my lungs as I wipe tears from my eyes
For I am alive and the albatross flies free, sailing the wind
This angel of mercy which flies before my life coaxing us along
As a gentle rain falls upon the creaking deck of the ship
And I am refreshed in my journey through the waters
As I inspire both the salty air and the new life I was granted


Uninspired- A Playful Poem

I want to be productive and there is plenty I could do
It’s just that I don’t have the drive to start on something new
It’s not that I feel bad or sad or depressed or anything like that
But everything for this week is done and my inspiration is flat
The week’s tasks are through and my mind it wants to play
And yet the weekends is not here yet and so I try to work away
Perhaps the poem is a waste of time, perhaps a little fun
But nothing else is getting done until its path has run
I sure my inspiration will be back and perhaps sometime soon
Perhaps it only needs a little break and will be back this afternoon
Or perhaps it took a holiday, a little flight to sea
Wherever it went, the trip it took, I wish it would take me

 Neil White, 2015

Clocks by Azoz7 on Deviantart.com

Clocks by Azoz7 on Deviantart.com

A Love Song for My Muse- A Poem

Gustav Moreau, Hesiod and the Muse (1891)

Gustav Moreau, Hesiod and the Muse (1891)

She dances at the edges of my dreams
Singing her songs, delighting in the bright corners of imagination
Celebrating the springtime of the mind and shining brightly
She laughs as I reach out for her, knowing once again
I’ll hear her diaphanous voice haunting me
But she’ll not be held or confined
She’ll not come when beckoned
She heeds no time but her own
But she can be enticed
For she loves beauty and laughter
And sometimes in the midst of loss and despair
Her compassionate hand is felt upon my shoulder
Making sense of the sadness and miracle from madness
And sometimes she’ll abide for a time
While pen and paper record the embrace
Of her creativity and my words
Ah, she is an evanescent sprite, but I adore her
She is the playful counterpart to my own diligence
And so to the muse, that spirit of my inspiration
I send out a love song, I read her poetry
I search for beauty and I dwell in the darkness
Waiting again to celebrate her dance, her laugh, her voice
The angel in my mind holding the keys to creativity
And lighting up the corners of my mind’s eye with her smile

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com