It happened today. A surge of energy more powerful than I’ve ever experienced (other than birthing my son). But this was a creative surge of clarity (and didn’t stretch my lady parts beyond recognition). It kind of stunned me. The dog and I were walking and I was in the 3rd chapter of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, so yes, there is that power of suggestion. But to be open to suggestion, I think you need to be open to the ideas within yourself.
I was freakin freezing and it was only – 10, but the wind was especially biting and I think my body has just had it with this Northern BC winter. The audiobook was taking my mind off the physical discomfort I was feeling on my face (I don’t think this is what the Weekend meant when he wrote I Can’t Feel My Face) and through my fleece tights (literally freezing my ass off). I was intently listening to Gilbert’s voice talk about magic and the power of creativity and this warmed my chest and kept me moving forward at a good clip – Lucy dog matching my stride.
On the back half of the walk, as I made my way in the direction of the car, her voice faded…honestly the last thing I remember her telling me was about the poet Ruth Stone and how in one of their encounters, the then 90-year-old poet laureate of Vermont had shared her creative process, telling Gilbert a whimsical story of how a poem would come to her like a tiger…she was able to see it coming, even as a girl, and would start running for the nearest piece of paper to scratch out the entity to honour its presence verse by verse. But sometimes Ruth wouldn’t make it in time and she could feel the poem pass through her…onto another place in the universe….but other times she would make it just in time to catch the tiger’s tail. At which point, she would reel the beast back in, writing the poem from end to start, until it was there in black and white (or black and orange) in its wild entirety. I apologize for bastardizing that story through my paraphrasing ramble, but it is what my brain hung onto just before my tiger came charging me from behind as I passed the railroad tracks in kilometre 4 of my walk, blindsiding me.
Just like that, I was in it, and it was disorienting and dizzying and invigorating all at once…I think I just described what falling in love feels like?! I met someone that has been existing within my space with me for a very long time, as I explored and asked some questions of this someone, I came to understand her being as ever-present in my life and maybe even before (getting a bit, or a lot metaphysical here). She showed me what I needed to do, and that I was ready to immerse myself in creativity and let all the noise (or all MY noise) fall away. The process of creating and honouring my authentic art form was on my doorstep…every single moment, occurrence, person, trauma, sickness, triumph, drawing, painting, word spoken and written had prepared me for right now.
When I came to I found myself fighting back tears, overwhelmed by the presence of this powerful beingness and re-connecting with someone who I understood now as not someone new, but someone I had always known, or at least they had always known me, been with me, been my witness holding me gently until I was ready to receive their gift and their story. Now my gift and my story.
And I know now what that was…Inspiration. As jarring as this wintery day in March, as tangible as the persistent tensing muscles in my jaw and neck, as strong as a punch to the gut releasing a sigh of relief in response. I have been given a moment of creative inspiration and it is up to me what I do with it.
I am smiling. I am hopeful. I am breathing deeply and ready to jump into some very uncertain waters too dark and tumultuous to see the bottom. Terrifying and vitalizing and it’s all mine. No more bracing for impact, leaning in, going there.
Mic drop. Out