Inspiration does not fade. A muse does not dissolve. A motivation does not disappear. It merely transcends into something else. The child we once were did not die and the beautiful artist that scribbled and eagerly presented to our parents did not lose that talent. We have just allowed it to be put on the back shelf. Love is not day old milk that we cannot drink. It is a river of fresh water that never suffers from drought. Our efforts to capture a moment by booking the room and packing our bags are not contrived but something less genuine than allowing it to appear in the moments of laxidaisical 9-5 we have placed on autopilot.
We should consider showing up to work drunk to engage the environment from a different perspective. I however gave up the bottle and can years ago so I have to summon other spirits to see the ghost. I think that if I just stopped to take a flower from its stem and lifted up to my nose I would be brought back. There is a plant that I find once in awhile on the road and it does have a unique scent. I should find out the name so that I can tell you about it. It may actually be a weed but the floral varieties of these offspring brings me right back to 3122 Tyler avenue as a child. My sister and I were inseparable and we owned and sometimes terrorized the block.
I was young and without a care other than where was I going to conjure up some fun. I recall a time when I would walk into my bedroom just before we would have to go to school. I would free fall face first into my bed and with a deep sigh and into my blanket I would think to myself. “I really hate school.”
I would get up and take another deep breath and take on the elements of Dysinger and Centralia.
I never liked school. I don’t believe it was the act of studying that bothered me more than the people I had to be with. By the time I was in seventh grade I was definatly a social outcast. I would often try to engage myself into a conversation among those more popular than me and whatever I said came out wrong. Or just not right. I would think to myself,”Shut up! Just don’t talk. Ever.” This was to become a recurring theme that repeated in my mind for years to come. Oh how despicably I wanted to fit in but not as a sheep that would laugh at to cool kids’ jokes but as someone who was bringing original perspectives to the conversation. I still suffer from the urge to speak and the inability to say the right thing.
By the 8th grade I was such a pariah that I was set up to attend one class with one teacher. Mr Butler. I tall thin 40 something guy who was not necessarily in charge of special needs kids but those who were special. Looking back on it now I am not sure how this was possible. I have the report card to prove that I had 6 periods with a D- and an F in P.E. He was bald and was battling cancer. I am sure I was not helping. I am sure he would be proud of what he started though.
Little did I know that this semester would alter the course of my life forever. It was a culmination of Mr. Butler, The psych ward and meeting a girl named Karen.
I would spend the day in class as Mr. Butler would struggle to find clever ways to engage me in the some from of curriculum that would allow him to give me a passing grade. That is when he enouraged me to write a poem. I think I may still have it written it down somewhere but it was clearly a derivative of a rhythm that lined up with Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
End of passion play, crumbling away
I’m your source of self-destruction
Mine was a bit different.
Your love was like a blaze, you put me in a daze now my life is misdirection.
You gave me what I want then you took it all away and left me with erection.
Can you guess why I was left with a D-?
Needless to say I was hooked on poetry and I evolved from juvenile perversion into a long decade of writing hundreds of poems and verses.
Around that time, my mother gave me a journal and insisted I write in it. I still have those journals and all of the poetry. I still keep a journal but the poems are not.
I often wonder where is that person that was once an endless creator. I can look back on the words I have written and often I have to question if that was even my work. Especially the good stuff.
Lately I have been feeling more detached to feeling than ever. It’s as if inspiration has dried up and was lost to the vacuum that is adulthood. I have managed to fend off growing up for so long that I did not see it happen. Now 40-something and with kids and a career I am falling deeper into a funk that does not allow me to enter the state of mind required to write great poetry.
Fortunately, I have been able to squeeze out early morning creativity by sitting near the fireplace with a cup of coffee and and iPad to release the words from my mind. It does leave me less than satisfied with the effort. I cannot shake the relentless conflict with the three characters that still argue in my mind. The business man, the teenager and the child. The inspiration and daydreams of my younger self did not go away. The spirit does not age it only grows wise. That child who doodles images of a circus but to the adult looks like a pile of hair never stopped wanting to doodle. The teenager filled with awkward angst and rebellion did not die he just stepped back to allow the adult in me to prosper and provide. Maybe if I scheduled play times and enforced timeouts or restrictions I would get some work done around here. God only knows they will never get along. I suppose that conflict is the source of the inspiration. The inspiration to push my body to rise early enough to have uninterrupted interventions. That way I can takes notes and share them with the class.