People often ask me what on Earth and the heavens above possesses my mind that allows me to write creatively. I marvel at this question as for me it all seems kind of elementary. As an author and poet with three published volumes of original poetry and a fourth book well on its way I feel blessed in this time, as has been the case for nearly fourteen years now, making new discoveries every single day which inspire my writing.
What inspires that writing? Well it may sound simplistic to say but my inspiration truly comes from everything there is about life…the people in my life and how we interact, work together, play together, argue together, get philosophical together, love together. It is the beauty in life and the loss of life. It is joy, sorrow, excitement, defeat, laughter, tears, curiosity, wonderment, confusion, love, trust, mistrust, friendship…virtually every single aspect of life and its living. Everything that surrounds us, confronts us, inspires us, confounds us.
Can I be more specific? Well take a look at the photo accompanying these words for instance. Life happens, as I have noted above and more, within the borders of this photo and across and around the globe that surrounds us. This photo is one I took while driving back from a lovely area just south of my homeland which is situated just beyond the upper right corner of this photo, up the lake highway and through the mountain area visible to a vast expanse of mountains, this lake, smaller lakes and a modest sized city nestled in the middle of it all. We have just moved here, my wife Andrea and I, a couple of months ago, having dreamed of life in this city, this region, for years now.
Poetry is my true passion and life companion outside of my life with Andrea who has inspired so much of what I write simply by being who she is. A poet has a different mindset I suppose…not necessarily fundamentalist or idealistic or spiritualistic…just an acute awareness of our surroundings, our lives, the lives of others and our own means to express a highly visual picture or image through our written word. There are no doubt many who would question the state of mind we as poets function in throughout the course of our days and nights, what fleeting and astonishing thoughts go through our heads and really just what on earth makes us tick. Well, that’s a complicated question!
As a writer, a poet, a creative, I draw my inspiration from all the senses…what I see, what I hear, smell, touch, taste, feel from a fingertip sensory standpoint to my innermost feelings and responses to all of the above. I look at a photograph as the one accompanying this writing and its beauty takes me away, allows me to experience all of these senses individually and collectively. The mind is an infinitely powerful entity and if you release it, set it free and allow it to venture where and when it will you have the immediate gratification of sensory inflow that seemingly becomes energized, takes on a life all its own and flows through our proverbial pen…in this day our keyboard which translates our inspiration, our muse through a conversion process more complex, more powerful, more incredibly unique and substantial than life itself it would seem.
What inspires me? It is all of the foregoing and more. I look to the soil beneath my feet as I walk the paths of today and tomorrow. I feel pebbles grind beneath the soles of my shoes, look back to see and acknowledge my footprints in the earth for as long as they may. I feel and hear the gentle breeze as it tussles through my hair, hollow transparencies of echoed contentment as it flows upon and through my ears as though a message, a whispered eloquence of time and its influence. In this springtime of seasons I see small buds springing renewed life upon tree limbs and plants, new shoots of ferns and sprouting ground covers, grasses greening. I hear the lapping of the lake and sea waters upon shores of their expectant return, tide’s arrival and retreat in a lapping froth of divergent energy and driftwood settling in cluttered artworks of debris until once again summoned by a listless sea.
Mountains tower and clouds in every configuration and energy drift by, rain droplets fall in tempest and tenacious drizzle upon paved roadways and sidewalks and copper roofs, children’s chatter and laughter, dogs barking, seals bantering in jest and challenge. Snows fall in purest of white and heaviness upon the lands, revered, hated, frowned upon with indifference. Automobiles ramble past in the haste of its driver’s business or leisure of scenic deliberations. Sail boats drift in a strong starboard draw, waves tussled into whitecaps by an afternoon gale.
I could go on forever but that is the whole point of this dialogue after all. The muse finds its curiosities in every place large and small, near or distant to the eye, to the heart, to the soul. It is all there to shape our thoughts, good, bad, indifferent. The human elements so often capture the poet’s attentions. There is so much to draw upon in the human spirit, our strengths, our weaknesses, our trials and tribulations.
I have written much and will write so much more…coming days, months and years that pass us by. Life never ceases nor its inspiration. In my middle age I have seen and experienced much yet have so much yet to explore and discover. When you visit here perhaps you’ll laugh, maybe cry, feel a sense of shared wonderment or spiritual comfort and joy. Whatever you take away may it be positive in the end for it is all my derivative sense of poetry in motion.
More than anything else I draw my inspiration from you, the reader, the visitor, the inquisitor, the lover of words. Bless you one and all for you inspire my every thought, my every day.
© Don MacIver 2014; All Rights Reserved