Sunday, June 14, 2009

How words can inspire a writer

Have you ever been inspired by someone or been the inspiration for someone or something? The feeling can be quite overwhelming and thrilling at the same time. That moment of sudden clarity can make you change your entire outlook on life and if you choose to embrace it, completely define a new path on your journey through this world.

I've always been inspired by music and particularly lyrics. Classical music holds great inspiration for me- those pieces that suddenly take hold of you and transport you to another place and time. Mozart's Requiem is one of those pieces that I can listen to over and over again despite it being associated with death. I find it uplifting and beautiful, so strong that it defies death and continues to push me along to great achievements. I've also been inspired by the soundtrack Road to Perdition. I'm not sure what it is about the music, but when I really want to write, I'll put it on and I'm immediately focused on my work and end up producing words that I feel good about.

Someone once sent me a poem that they found by my favourite poet Walter de la Mare and said it was uncanny how much the poem was like me. It connected me with singing, with my love of peace, and music, and how memory can be fleeting.
The poem follows:

Rachel ( by Walter de la Mare)

Rachel sings sweet-
Oh, yes, at night,
Her pale face bent
In the candle-light,
Her slim hands touch
The answering keys,
And she sings of hope
And of memories:
Sings to the little
Boy that stands
Watching those slim,
Light, heedful hands.
He looks in her face;
Her dark eyes seem
Dark with a beautiful
Distant dream;
And still she plays,
Sings tenderly
To him of hope
And of memory.

I often wonder who that Rachel was and why she inspired him to write those words. She must have meant something very special for Walter to have taken the time to compose that work. I may never be a poet but I hope that I am able to inspire someone to be a little more than they hoped to become, or to do something that helps make the world a better place.
I also read these words recently about a Rachel that made me smile and feel reassured that there are many ways to inspire the written word-

"That she is a pillar of fire in the desert night; that she is, to him, the freshest sight; that if anyone can make me perfect, she could; that she defies darkness, a blaze of burning wood."

Since I am particularly fond of lyrics, when I discovered this song in 1994 by Ethan Jones ( sung by my muse Stevie Nicks of course), I was immediately struck by how it mirrored my life at the time- indecisiveness, longing, hope for the future, and how it applied to several people in my life. Although it's far from the classical beauty of a romantic poet or a musical genius, it's simplicity can still give one pause to figure out what really inspires you- and what you are really looking for in life.

Inspiration ( Ethan Jones)

Well I was sitting down talking to myself again
I pick up the phone you're on the other end
Sometimes to talk to you is all I need
To make me feel at home again
We can talk away the time like it was yesterday
You make me feel like I feel when I play

And I understand it's not how we planned
But we'll make it
Just call me inspiration
I remember your voice at that station
Just call me inspiration

And you put down the phone
And I feel so alone
Sometimes I just can't stand it
But it's all worthwhile when I see that smile
I feel like I'm up a mile high

And I understand it's not how we planned
But we'll make it
You whispered to me at the station
Just call me inspiration

We'll these past few weeks I've had time to remember
Those times we spent together
The days we just decided to stay inside
And be with one another
And those times they mean so much to me
And you have to know how much you mean to me
And I really really want you to be with me
Cause I love you

Just call me Inspiration
Just call me Inspiration

No comments: