The source of inspiration has always intrigued me. Where does creativity come from? When someone creates a song that hits the heart, or when someone dances with inimitable grace upon the stage… we wonder where indeed, did that expertise come from? Can it be credited to the person performing the miracles, or is it the hint of perhaps something greater than us? Deity? A life force? What indeed is it?
This concept of mystery has been one I have pondered and appreciated for many years. It began when I was a toddler. My mother is gifted as a visual artist, and various drawings hanging on our walls were of her conception. It was mysterious to me, seeing her works… They hearkened unto times before my birth, and served as miniscule hints into the past. Was my mother a different person before my arrival?
Inspiration affected me firsthand when I realized that Christmas came with carols. Which I sang heartily then all year. The melodies and words were divinely inspired, in both the religious and secular way, and so I appreciated them. I began to develop a pleasant singing voice then, and music became my ally. At the dawn of first grade, I started playing the violin. And that is when the inspiration truly began.
Hearing classical music, specifically from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, has entranced me always. It is a style of music that is primarily driven by a melody, which is then accompanied and supported by other complex activities, including the lowest of bass rumblings and everything in between. The whole package together is held by the chords created to suggest a certain key signature. “Concerto for Violin in E Major, BWV 1042.” That one’s by Johann Sebastian Bach. “Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24.” Beethoven’s famed Spring Sonata. Each piece is comprehensive, finished and complete, akin to a painting with every stroke placed perfectly.
Or perhaps like Renaissance sculptures of the physical form. I wonder with Michelangelo… where does it end where the artist sculpts… and the piece of art sculpts itself? Indeed, if he “tried too hard” to make David “perfect,” he could have nicked too much marble off here or there… of course he was an “expert” and would have “never” done that… Perhaps I don’t understand such genius enough.
I suppose for myself, I am gifted at music, though I don’t find much enjoyment in it. It seems a blasphemous statement, for me to say that I don’t enjoy a gift I have, but so it is. I find it too simplistic in some ways. I write a melody with my guitar, as well as accompanying lyrics. The words come to me easily, as do the rhymes (with the glad assistance of a rhyming dictionary), as does the music. I am no canonical composer, but I have an elementary understanding of how to create a musical work that has all of its loose ends tied. My songs tell stories. They evoke images that are complete. My songs are strung together with form in the traditional sense, and are not at all abstract.
But music seems so boring, precisely because it comes from somewhere that is NOT ME. There is some sort of strange disconnect. Of course, the songs I create are very personal to me, and accurately paint my life. But I feel as if the songs I write are so transparent, that it is as if I simply shot a photograph of myself in the mirror. And as fond as I am of selfies, I find them to be only tools for self-reflection, intended for myself. It’s even uncanny. Songs I have written several years before seem to predict events in my future. They also develop greater meaning as I age, because they describe feelings and emotions that I did not have when I wrote them, yet I then acquire them in the future.
It’s an absolute eerie experience, and so I prefer to refrain from music. I honestly have no desire to be a mystic or occultist, because honestly such work is exhausting. And it also serves no purpose. What benefit is there, to know my future? I’ve consulted charlatans, evangelicals and honest spiritualists alike over the years, and their counsel only served to pack my subconscious with a rich pallet of insane colors, all thrown into my face like the abstract art of Millie Brown. She is noted for creating works of art painted with her own vomit. I must say, that vomit is my greatest fear on earth.
I much prefer writing. In general, I have a lot of questions and thoughts and ideas. Music is too slow of a medium to express this. You can only utter so many words at once, and the music serves to influence the words likewise. Music alone can influence one’s mood, and I find this too be too much. I like the silence of words. I like how words are more personal. The emotions evoked within the person are noiseless.
Regardless of what talent I dedicate myself to, I know in my bones that I will be successful… as long as I stay true to my heart, and true to the people I care about. The challenges that I face in pursuit of this goal, lies in developing compassion for every living creature I encounter and know about. If I care about everyone alive, I will be able to make the deepest and most positive impact on this world, that I am capable of.
Yet I am only one person. That is why I care about people. One person cannot move a mountain.
Artistic inspiration perhaps comes from a place unknown to common sense or science. It may lie latent in the brain, or perhaps it is from elsewhere outside the human form. I think it is a popular statement these days, to say that “accessing this inspiration can cause healing for the brain.” Healing, in the mental health aspect and holistically likewise. Yet I find it opposite. I was unable to become intuitive and artistic, until my brain was healed with medication.
It is a very complicated topic. But I will say this: The experience of accessing your intuition, whether via an artistic discipline or perhaps even through the athletic practice of developing one’s level of fitness… Accessing your intuition is an ability that you have within you. And you have every right of experiencing this phenomenon.
It is a sad state of affairs, that we are inundated with instant entertainment, from computer games to television to Top 40 songs. We are so entertained, that we neglect to find our own latent intuition within ourselves… that once served to entertain us! Perhaps that is why there is so much mental grief these days… We are being robbed of the opportunity to develop our imaginations due to being fed entertainment.
It’s a complicated matter, and I’m tired for now. I could ponder it further in my sleep, and continue from there. Indeed, the best of intuitions follow periods of rest.