A Place for Inspiration

In the theater business I am in, you meet a lot of very creative people, from writers and directors, to actors and choreographers. Where do they get it all from? What is their source? Their heads must be bursting all of the time. As spectators, we love to get a whiff of such inspiration in live performance. Aficionados know there is nothing comparable in life.

I know that when I need to be creative, I need quiet time alone, away from the routine hubbub of the world. The stereotype of the artist in the garret makes sense to me. He or she is above the fray in another world, on a higher plane. I fancy that some artists in any given medium live in their subconscious minds or a fantasy world populated with imagery and poetic words. Who knows? They don’t like to talk about it, they just like to hear what you think of the final product. I have been able to get some insight, however, after a bit of prying. They like to get away whether it be to the country or the sea for a change of scene whenever possible. After a bit of hiking or water recreation, they are ready to dig into the depths of their being for that illusive, magical thing called inspiration.

Poets need to see in terms of word imagery, painters in terms of light and shade. Sculptors work with volume and texture, architects with space. Dancers relish movement and flight while actors embody characters and moods. It is like a displacement of oneself in a sense. Being in nature helps clear the air and ventilate the brain cells I am told. I can well believe it. This works for normal people who need to vent stress and anxiety. Water in particular seems to have a special role such that spas and resorts near a lake or the sea are favorite retreats.

Even a Jacuzzi can do it for those who are too busy to literally get away. Sometimes life’s obligations rear their ugly heads. Water is therapeutic and cleansing of the mind and body. You don’t have to be water skiing or paddling around in an inflatable kayak to feel renewed. But when you are in the midst of various kinds of water sports activities, you do stop thinking of almost anything else. That is the beauty of recreational exercise—complete mental and physical submersion.

Creativity thus is a bit of a mystery to me and maybe to you unless you are in it feet first at the moment. Sitting before a computer screen waiting for words to emerge is a joy and a curse, let me tell you. Maybe if I just look at some photos of crashing waves or rippling brooks I will get inspired. That would be the modern digital version of escaping to another locale. Whatever works and I’m going to try!

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