Inspire: breathe in
Inspire: fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative
Writers look for inspiration everywhere. In some of my previous posts I’ve mentioned finding inspiration in music, in art, and in my own personal life experiences. Having your senses stimulated this way, often fires your creative process. There’s another way, though…
Like the rest of you, my life is busy and my mind can be a very noisy and messy place. It can get to the point where it feels like I can’t catch my breath. Maybe even like I’m under water. When that happens, it’s time to take a break and find some quiet time. For me, that means getting outside, no matter the weather. Walking the country roads past the crumbling old walls that line the pastures, I let my mind wander. There’s a fallen down barn on the dirt road about a mile away. The red-tailed hawks perch on the half-rotted beams and watch for field mice and rabbits in the tall grass. The wind sighing, the birds singing, the chatter of the squirrels is the only music to my ears. Cross the creek, rushing with last night’s rain. The smell of damp leaves, the early spring mud, all loamy and decayed.
Breathe it in deeply. Inspire…
Maybe you live in the city and can’t get out into nature that easily. Go out and walk the sidewalks, enjoy the sunshine, the hum of traffic, the jostle of people hurrying to their destinations. Spend an hour, if you have it, without your phone. Ignore the texts, e-mails and alerts for a while. They’ll be there when you get back. Find a park, sprawl on a bench, listen to the buzz of conversations going on around you, the laughter of children playing. Let it be like white noise, vague and mesmerizing.
Now go home and write something beautiful.
He waited at the window table so he could watch down the street. She was late, as usual. She would have the same excuse she always did. “It was the rain, darling.” Or “the train was behind schedule.” And he’d smile and accept it. Like he always did.
The red umbrella stood out against the grey sky. He knew without seeing the person beneath that it was her. She came inside on a gust of wind and brought enough water to create a puddle. Her laughter charmed the host and he waved off her apology as he ran to get the mop.
She turned, her eyes scanning the cafe until they settled on him. She smiled and his heart went to his throat. With purpose, she crossed the room and slid into the chair beside him. Not across from him, no. Beside him. So they could touch each other. Her knee rested against his leg as she leaned over to kiss him softly. She smelled like rain and lilies. He breathed in her scent as their lips touched.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” she said. “The rain has everything slowed down.”
He laughed out loud and kissed her again. “You’re wonderful.”
She touched his cheek. “You’re happy today.”
“Yes.” Happier than he’d been in the last five years. Maybe happier than he’d ever been in his life.
The waiter brought a basket of fresh bread and soft butter. He broke off a piece and buttered it, held it out to her. “Eat.”
As she took it from him, she asked, “Are you going to tell me why you’re so happy?”
Melting butter dripped onto her fingers from the bread. He watched it run in a tiny rivulet from one finger to the next. He wanted to lick each little drop. Instead, he waited as she chewed and swallowed before speaking. “It’s official,” he said and placed the documents on the table in front of her.
The sacrifice. My heart. Your knife.
An illustration by Harry Clarke for Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination