Amidst the hustle and bustle of deadlines, day jobs, family commitments, social networking, and the mere act of living from day to day, some of us try to carve out oases of quiet to rest the mind and the spirit in order to write. These are precious moments, diminishing as we age, for our fingers on the keyboard eventually slow down and our tiring minds needs longer periods of pause before they kick into – what I call – the inspiration zone.
What is this zone? It’s a storehouse of memories and impressions created from any and all of the following occurrences: a moment of stress or loss, a change of scene, a thought provoking piece of art, a book, a movie or play, a song, a promotion, a demotion, a firing, an illness, a transgression, a relationship, a cataclysmic social event, a birth or a death. Sometimes, a hidden voice gives us something brand new, something we have never experienced, a bonus for our enjoyment; we like to call that imagination.
How does one enter the zone? Although this storehouse comprises our personal collection of life experiences, we are not automatically granted access. There has to be a preparedness before the door opens, a willingness to go inward without holding back, with the Blackberry switched off, and with an acceptance that not all the artefacts within are necessarily pleasurable to handle.
What do we do with the contents of our inspiration zone? Not all can be shared, for not all will benefit mankind, therefore why share them? Besides, events need to be embellished, polished, sequenced and arranged so that they tell a coherent tale and yield a valuable lesson. This is the price for entering, for what is gathered needs to be deciphered and communicated. And this is not easy, for the moment this composition is out in the public domain it is subject to the slings, arrows and plaudits of an uncaring audience. This is sometimes like a road to Gethsemane with no reward in sight. The only reward is the inward journey that enriches the soul.
It is less painful to take the easy way out, to never open this door, and live the unexamined life. Some who take that route are known to have sudden heart attacks, suffer neuroses, jump off tall buildings, go on a rampage, or simply drink themselves into an early grave. Those who brave into the inspiration zone do not suffer any less, for they too are known to engage in self –destructive activities, but their demons are exposed to the world, and through the act of unburdening and sharing, healing may be expected, though not always granted. This latter category is usually labelled “writer.”
As 2012 dawns, the year in which great change is predicted from way back at the time of the Mayans, where do you want to play? Are you prepared to enter through the door into your inspiration zone or do you want to leave it for another generation to discover?